Government taken to court over ‘inadequate’ climate strategies

Friends of the Earth activists said the government’s ‘shocking’ commitments are not enough to deliver a low carbon future

Big Zero Report 2022

Friends of the Earth activists are taking the government to court over two climate strategies, its Net Zero Strategy and its Heat and Buildings Strategy, both described as “woefully inadequate”.

The Judicial Review, brought to the High Court by the environmental campaign group, is expected to challenge both strategies.

The environmentalists claim that pathways to net zero are theoretical and do not include further details explaining how they can be fulfilled.

Friends of the Earth also stated that the government failed in considering the impact of its Heat and Buildings strategy on protected groups.

Katie de Kauwe, a lawyer at Friends of the Earth, said: “A rapid and fair transition to a safer future requires a plan that shows how much greenhouse gas reduction the chosen policies will achieve, and by when. That the plan for achieving net zero is published without this information in it is very worrying, and we believe is unlawful.

“Not even considering the implications of the Heat and Buildings Strategy on groups such as older and disabled people, and people of colour and ethnic minorities is quite shocking, given these groups are disproportionately impacted by fuel poverty, for example.”

A BEIS spokesperson told ELN: “The UK has cut emissions faster than any other G7 country over the past few decades, and our Net Zero Strategy has been described by the independent Climate Change Committee as ‘an ambitious and comprehensive strategy that marks a significant step forward for UK climate policy.’

“The Net Zero Strategy sets out specific, detailed measures we will take to transition to a low carbon economy, including helping businesses and consumers to move to clean and more secure, home-grown power, supporting hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs and leveraging up to £90 billion of private investment by 2030.”

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