Help us challenge the government’s inadequate climate strategy – again

by Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)

Help us challenge the government’s inadequate climate strategy – again

by Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
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Latest: Jan. 31, 2024

We have a court date!

Dear supporter,

I just wanted to start out with a huge thank you for all your support so far for our challenge of the government’s climate strategy. Because of your incredible support,…

Read more

For the second time, Friends of the Earth is challenging the government’s inadequate climate strategy in court under the Climate Change Act 2008. 

Last year we took the government to court over its Net Zero Strategy that we believed to be unlawful. The judge agreed with us and ordered the government to revise the strategy. But our view is that even the new climate strategy doesn’t do enough to hit the government's own climate targets. 

Despite all this, in September Rishi Sunak announced plans to weaken climate policy even further. These include a delay on the eventual ban of new petrol and diesel car sales, and the scrapping of other constructive changes for reaching our carbon reduction targets.

UK carbon reduction targets (climate “budgets”) are legally binding, and the government of the day is required under the Climate Change Act to deliver a proper plan to meet them – or face the risk of being taken to court. 

However, independent advisors at the Climate Change Committee found less than a fifth of the required emissions cuts were backed up by credible policies. This is nowhere near good enough. So, we're challenging the government in court over its plans again.

The High Court has granted us a 3-day “rolled up” hearing. In practice this is effectively the same as a trial, where the court allows us to argue our case in full.  

We believe we have a compelling case that the government’s revised climate strategy is unlawful. Even the government’s own expert advisors are saying its plans fall short. This doesn’t just represent a failure of the government’s duties on the climate crisis, but a missed opportunity for policies that could improve the lives of people living in this country and around the world. 

“With intense speculation over the government’s commitment to acting on the climate crisis, this case is a timely reminder that the government has a legal duty to act on climate change – or face legal action if its plans fall short of what’s required.” – Katie de Kauwe, Lawyer at Friends of the Earth 

Right now, we need to be doing everything we can to reduce the impact of climate breakdown. Yet again this year we’re seeing soaring temperatures, resulting in devastating floods and fires across the globe. And yet again, it’s those least responsible for the climate crisis that are hit the hardest by its effects.  

The government has a legal duty to act on climate change, and it’s our duty to hold them to that. 

If you can, please consider donating. Cases like these take months of work from our legal team and campaigners, and are only possible through the generous support of people like you.  

The details: 

Friends of the Earth are working alongside ClientEarth and Good Law project on this case, as we did on the case last year. We are each funding our work independently of one another.  

Donations made to Friends of the Earth will not go towards funding one specific campaign, but rather to wherever they are needed the most. This includes our legal team as well as our other campaigns and activism work. 



Update 1

Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)

Jan. 31, 2024

We have a court date!

Dear supporter,

I just wanted to start out with a huge thank you for all your support so far for our challenge of the government’s climate strategy. Because of your incredible support, we hit our initial target of £5,000 in under 24 hours! We’re so grateful to have our incredible supporters by our side when we take on challenges like these to protect people and planet.  

I have an exciting update to share with you all too. The dates for our court hearing have been set and we will be appearing in court from 20 to 22 of February. With less than a month left, we’re busy preparing our arguments, and working alongside ClientEarth and Good Law Project who also filed cases. All of this work is made possible by people like you.  

Despite hitting our initial target, we’re currently just over halfway to our goal of £14,000. Please would you consider sharing our donation page with your friends and family on social media or via email? Your support makes a huge difference in our ability to take on legal challenges like this and other cases and campaigns in the future   

We all know that climate breakdown is a massive threat to our world right now. We’re seeing increasingly unpredictable weather here in the UK and worldwide, with lives and livelihoods being destroyed by devastating heatwaves and floods. Our government not only has a moral responsibility to act, but a legal obligation to do so. We believe they must do everything they can to fulfil that obligation.  

Because of your support, were able to keep challenging climate-wrecking decisions and fight for the better world we all know is possible. So from all of us at Friends of the Earth, thank you for trusting us to carry out this work. We couldn’t do any of it without you.  

 Best wishes, 

 Katie de Kauw 

Lawyer, Friends of the Earth 

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