Climate activists got a big win when a UK appeals court blocked the British government’s plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport.
The judges said that the British government did not account for the country’s commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement. Heathrow said it would appeal the verdict as climate campaigners cheered outside the court. Signators to the Paris climate accord have agreed to reduce carbon output and reduce global warming by 2 degrees Celcius by the end of the century.
The ruling said, “We have not found that a national policy statement supporting this project is necessarily incompatible with the United Kingdom’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change under the Paris Agreement, or with any other policy the Government may adopt or international obligation it may undertake.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan was in favor of the action and made a statement, “A new runway at Heathrow would have serious consequences on climate change, on air quality, on noise pollution, on road and rail networks and on the quality of life in our city.”
Climate activists are thrilled and hope this sets a new precedent for taking climate change into account for infrastructure development Will Rundle, head of legal at Friends of the Earth, said in a statement, “This judgment has exciting wider implications for keeping climate change at the heart of all planning decisions. It’s time for developers and public authorities to be held to account when it comes to the climate impact of their damaging developments.”
Read more about governments and climate change in One Green Planet, including mayors taking climate matters into their own hands and a noteworthy climate ruling in the Netherlands.
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