Climate activist group Plan B went to the High Court yesterday in a landmark climate change case in which they sought permission to launch formal legal action against the UK government. The group's case is live on CrowdJustice, and there are 16 days to go to reach their stretch target £65,000. Plan B claim that the government is discriminating against the young by failing to cut emissions fast enough. During the hearing, they argued that the UK government’s current target of limiting global temperature rises to 2° C was not ambitious enough, and that the target ought to be lowered to 1.5° C, in line with the Paris Agreement that the UK ratified in 2015. Justice Supperstone postponed the decision until a later date.
Activists and demonstrators had a strong presence outside the court in anticipation for the result, with climate journalist Soila Apparicio tweeting, “The courtroom is full! Lots of people very passionate about voicing the impacts of climate change”. Plan B wrote that they had had an ‘absolutely incredible turnout at the Royal Courts of Justice for the UK Climate Lawsuit’, as well as noting the presence of Green Party Co-leader Jonathan Bartley, who argued that ‘this government needs to face up to the hard realities’. Caroline Lucas, who leads the Green Party with Bartley, also tweeted her support, saying that ‘catastrophic political inertia requires collective legal action’.
During the hearing, the Counsel for Plan B highlighted the ‘embarrassing’ position of the government, arguing that the government’s claims that ambitious targets were unachievable was in direct opposition to the scientific community tasked with advising the government. The Counsel for the Committee on Climate change argued that the Paris Agreement and the government’s climate change legislation were directly intertwined. After all arguments were heard, the judge announced that he would be reserving his judgement for a second hearing.
There are 16 days to go in Plan B's case CrowdJustice, and they have raised over £45,000 from over 800 backers.