Stop road building that wrecks the climate and nature (A47BNB/Norfolk)

by Dr Andrew Boswell

Stop road building that wrecks the climate and nature (A47BNB/Norfolk)

by Dr Andrew Boswell
Dr Andrew Boswell
Case Owner
I am a Norfolk resident who cares passionately about the future of our precious county, our children and grandchildren.
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Dr Andrew Boswell
Case Owner
I am a Norfolk resident who cares passionately about the future of our precious county, our children and grandchildren.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: March 22, 2024

We are going to the Supreme Court

BREAKING NEWS: Yesterday, March 21st 2024, my lawyers filed a claim to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal the Court of Appeal judgment.  

To everyone who supported me to take this to the …

Read more

Stop road building that wrecks the climate and nature 

Help me stop the A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham scheme (A47BNB), the first of four destructive road schemes all close to Norwich (see map below).  It is important to prevent this first scheme now by supporting this legal case.  If the A47BNB goes ahead, then the Norwich Western Link and the other Norfolk A47 schemes may be unstoppable. 

The case challenges the government’s unlawful approach of allowing large road schemes to go ahead without cumulative assessment of carbon emissions - a win could help ensure proper climate impact assessment for proposed highway schemes around the UK.

The immediate threat

Four massive road building projects are poised to devastate countryside around the historic city of Norwich by 2025.  If built, they would destroy precious wildlife habitats, increase development pressures and generate more traffic 'needing' further road building. They make it impossible for Norfolk to cut its carbon emissions this decade, vital to tackling climate change.  If this challenge is successful, it would force the Government to re-consider other road building schemes in the pipeline.

With your help, we can stop this monumental level of destruction, both in Norfolk and across the UK.


On the River Wensum floodplain where 700m viaduct is planned for 2025   

The road building explosion around Norwich

The countryside close to Norwich remains largely unspoilt with many small villages, and peaceful places for walkers, tourists and residents.  But this could change rapidly in just a few years The A47 between Blofield and North Burlingham (A47BNB) is the first of an explosion of plans for new highways and roads-led development: it was recently given planning permission by the Government. 

Four destructive road schemes, close to Norwich, and planned by 2025 (RIS2 means entirely central government funding)

When one scheme gets planning permission, it becomes more likely that others will follow.  If the A47BNB goes ahead, it will be followed by the A47 dualling from North Tuddenham to Easton (A47NTE), the enlargement of Thickthorn junction (A47THI), and the Norwich Western Link (NWL), an entirely new road cutting through open landscapes with ancient woodlands and unique ecology.  These roads could be built by 2025, destroying communities, climate and nature, and flooding traffic into the area.  Norfolk County Council plan more schemes after 2025.  (See notes on these other schemes at the end)

This challenge is to the A47BNB in Norfolk

I am challenging the A47BNB as it breaks the government's own commitments on climate change. 

Some of the same lawyers who successfully took the Government to Court on its Net Zero Strategy are acting for me.  For more on this landmark climate judgement (July 18th 2022) see https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/govts-climate-strategy-deemed-unlawful-historic-ruling

What’s the impact on local people? 

Walking and access to services would be disrupted by a dualled A47BNB

The A47BNB has a damaging impact on local people. The dualled road would sever existing footpaths, disconnecting the villages of Lingwood and Burlingham. Pedestrian access to schools, the train station, buses, village hall, a recreation ground, and a post office would be lost for many residents as it will be impossible to cross a dual-carriageway with 70mph traffic.  

National Highways, the road builders, have refused to provide the community with any adequate compensation, such as a footbridge, and ignored a local petition of over 1000 signatures.

Carbon emissions and fuelling car dependent development

The A47BNB would increase carbon emissions just when the Government says we must reduce them.  The Government failed to properly consider the increased carbon emissions in approving the A47BNB.  A victory in this case would force the government to take a different approach and consider the cumulative impacts of road schemes when deciding whether to permit them. There are many other reasons to support our challenge as the A47BNB would:

  • lead to more development & more traffic in the countryside close to Norwich, and cause loss of valuable farm land
  • increase noise and pollution
  • lead to further road schemes around Norwich, all causing their own destruction
  • be a waste of money when we need both a serious investment in public transport, and financial resources to help those most affected by the cost of living crisis

More about me

I am a Norfolk resident who cares passionately about the future of our precious county, and our children and grandchildren.  I am a retired computer scientist from University of East Anglia, and an expert in climate change and the carbon emissions from road building.  I have worked with many transport and environmental organisations including Norwich Friends of the Earth, Stop the Wensum link campaign, the Green Party, CPRE Norfolk, Extinction Rebellion and Transport Action Network.  I dedicate my campaigning to my first grandchild born July 15th 2022, and his generation. 

How the funds will be used

I have engaged specialist lawyers who are very experienced in planning cases relating to climate change to challenge this road scheme. They have reviewed the Secretary of State’s decision on the A47BNB, and have submitted a pre-action protocol letter (see notes below for explanation of this) to the Government for me saying it has acted unlawfully. 

The initial target is £1,000 which can hopefully be quickly reached.  Then I will stretch it to around the £5,000 needed to cover the costs for this first stage, which will include developing the detailed legal arguments. When I proceed to file the case in the High Court, more funds will be needed with further stretch targets.  I will provide regular updates here of each stage.

Please support this challenge - so that this dreadful scheme can be stopped before it’s too late.

Please give whatever you can, and share this with as many people as you can. Thank you.


Notes on the other schemes in the map

Four destructive road schemes, close to Norwich, and planned by 2025

The A47/A11 Thickthorn scheme (A47THI) extends a large roundabout with a new underpass and enlarged slip-road, plus another new road some way from the roundabout.  It would increase the traffic in the area turning the rural tranquility around Norwich into an urban sprawl.  Higher levels of traffic would surge both east towards the A47BNB and west towards the A47NTE.

The A47 dualling from North Tuddenham to Easton (A47NTE) would place a dual-carriageway along the valley of the River Tud, a rare chalk stream habitat. The road is planned to run so closely to the Tud that it would destroy the tranquility of the valley, spoil the view from the network of ancient footpaths that run in this river valley, and sever two rights of way.

The Norwich Western Link (NWL) is a highly destructive scheme which would destroy the UK’s largest super-colony of barbastelle bats, and cross the River Wensum, also a rare chalk stream, protected as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). This scheme is dependent on the A47NTE going ahead.

 For more on the NWL, see: https://www.stopthewensumlink.co.uk/.

There are several other A47 schemes planned by Norfolk County Council after 2025.

What is a pre-action protocol letter?

This is the legal letter which my lawyers have already sent to the Government before we go to the next step of asking the Court for a judicial review.  It sets out our case at a high-level, and the Government will reply with their case.  It ensures that we understand each other’s positions and can help to decide next steps.   

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Update 26

Dr Andrew Boswell

March 22, 2024

We are going to the Supreme Court

BREAKING NEWS: Yesterday, March 21st 2024, my lawyers filed a claim to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal the Court of Appeal judgment.  

To everyone who supported me to take this to the High Court and then the Court of Appeal.  Huge thanks.  The bar to get permission for cases to be heard is very high, and your support has made the long process possible.  Now we are heading to the Supreme Court, I ask you again to please donate generously.  The bar is higher but the issues are wider and broader now too.

This case is now about cumulative carbon emissions in all infrastructure projects - that includes roads, energy plants, housing etc.  It is vital that ministers have to assess cumulative carbon emissions and show that they have done in a reasoned way when the UK has very challneging carbon budgets, the delivery of which is now known to be highly risked.  By going to the Supreme Court we are raising a vital public interest case at national level.  The case is no longer just about roads, nor just about roads in Norfolk, although the issue has emerged via the lense of the massive amount of road building planned in Norfolk.

My lawyers Richard Buxton Solicitors said yesterday:

“Despite the government promoting a number of highways schemes as a combined “A47 improvement programme,” it is undisputed that each scheme’s impacts were only ever assessed individually.  The Court of Appeal’s judgement effectively carves out climate impacts as not requiring cumulative assessment, an exception which does not appear in the rules.  This has broad implications for infrastructure projects and their compatibility with the government’s climate commitments.  This is an issue of wide public importance and we are therefore asking the Supreme Court to weigh in.” 

I will post more updates over future weeks, but for the moment I want to thank my legal team for the work over the last month in preparing the permission to appeal documents for the Supreme Court.  That is Holly Law, Lewis Hadler and Matthew McFeeley from Richard Buxtons solicitors, Ben Mitchell and Peter Lockley of 11 King's Bench Walk chambers, and of course, David Wolfe, KC, from Matrix chambers.  The case is as always very well argued, and brings in the wider context of all infrastructure and meeting our legally binding climate budgets and targets as above. 

If you have read this far, please do give generously to the legal fund, if you can.  

Update 25

Dr Andrew Boswell

Jan. 15, 2024

Court of Appeal (Boswell case) - Court 70 and livestream details

Dear All,

A very quick update, the Court have now listed the deatils for the case tomorrow.

It will be heard at Court room 70 at the RCJ (Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/aR6RnNsZfksb9kxD6) at 1030 tomorrow.   

If you can't make the hearing, it is being livestreamed from Court 70 from 1030 here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFgPCUoTErOfzpbk8wIJybg

Many thanks for all your support.  Do repost this tweet if you can 

Andrew

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/


Update 24

Dr Andrew Boswell

Jan. 15, 2024

Tomorrow we are at the Court of Appeal

Dear friends and supporters

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/

Tomorrow we are at the Court of Appeal.  David Wolfe, Kings Counsel, will lay out a strong case that the Government broke the law in approving the three A47 road schemes without doing a proper cumulative assessment of the carbon impacts.  

I want to thank each and every one of you for your support to this point, now over 18 months since I started this legal case.  With over 1850 pledges to this site, it is clear that this vital climate case is widely supported.  I have been blowned over by the support which has grown for this case.  Last week, broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham, and Sir David King, the former government chief scientific advisor, both gave strong statements of endorsement for the Court of Appeal challenge (see my press reelase appended below). 

My lawyers have been working very hard to put together the final arguments and preparing for tomorrow's hearing.  Please make a donation if you can to support this vital climate case and the dedicated work of the legal team.

Do listen to this super podcast on this landmark Climate Litigation case with my lead Counsel, David Wolfe, KC which explains the case really well. 

And please join us on Tuesday if you can.  The case will be at the Court of Appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice (Map).  Arrive around 0930 if you wish to go into the Court, or arrive at 1245 for a pavement gathering with speakers from several roads campaigns around the UK, me, Becca Lush from Transport Action Network, and Rupert Read from Climate Majority Project.    

Please share on widely!

Thank you, Andrew

____________


Press release - sent on behalf of Dr Andrew Boswell - 15 January 2024

 

CHRIS PACKHAM SUPPORTS ROADS CLIMATE LEGAL CHALLENGE IN THE COURT OF APPEAL

 

Photo opportunity - Tuesday 16 January at 1pm at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, WC2A 2LL

 

An important climate legal challenge against three major road schemes will be heard in the Court of Appeal [1] tomorrow, Tuesday 16 January 2024 at 10am. Broadcaster Chris Packham and Sir David King, the former government chief scientific advisor, are both supporting the legal challenge. 

 

Supporters of Dr Boswell will be outside the Court at 1pm for a photo opportunity, with banners highlighting the climate emergency and road schemes around the country. 

 

Dr Andrew Boswell is challenging the granting of development consent for three new, nationally significant road schemes in Norfolk, on the grounds of the Department for Transport’s and National Highways’ failure to properly consider the three schemes’ combined impacts on climate change [2]. If Dr Boswell is successful, the case could have serious implications for other major road schemes in the Government’s roads programme. 

 

There are two other climate-focused legal challenges to the A38 Derby Junctions [3] and A57 Link Roads [4] schemes that are awaiting a decision on Dr Boswell’s Court of Appeal climate challenge. If Dr Boswell’s appeal succeeds, National Highways may have to reassess the carbon calculations for all their other road schemes, including the £10 billion Lower Thames Crossing which National Highways estimates will cause an extra 6.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions [5]. 

 

Dr Boswell first challenged the granting of development consent for the three schemes in the High Court in May 2023. Justice Thornton dismissed the challenges in July 2023, but Dr Boswell’s challenge was granted permission by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2023 with the Judge noting that his case  “has a real prospect of success” and acknowledging that “assessment of combined carbon emissions has potentially wide implications” [6]. Only the very strongest cases are granted permission to proceed to a full appeal hearing. 

 

The challenge to the three A47 schemes in Norfolk, each part of the same road programme, centres on the failure of the Secretary of State for Transport and National Highways to properly assess the combined impact of the three schemes on climate change, instead only looking at each scheme in isolation. 

 

Dr Andrew Boswell said, “This case has wide implications for how ministers make decisions in the face of the rapidly worsening climate crisis.  Government climate policies are failing, and especially for transport which is the UK's largest carbon emitting sector.  Each time a minister approves a new road scheme whilst stubbornly refusing to consider the full climate impacts, the national challenge of meeting our climate targets is severely undermined.”  

 

The broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham sent his support to Dr Boswell, saying “Instead of rapidly reducing carbon emissions, the Government is instead driving them up with huge new road building projects. Dr Boswell is courageously challenging this unsustainable approach in the Court of Appeal by questioning the routine underestimating of the emissions caused by increasing traffic. I salute him and all those challenging Government climate policies in the courts” 

 

The case is also supported by the former chief scientific adviser to the UK government, Professor Sir David King (now Founder & Chair, global Climate Crisis Advisory Group, CCAG) who, noting the severe flooding problems this winter across the UK, said, “Climate change is with us now, and the impacts are getting worse on an annual basis. Funds need to be directed at developing flood defences based on the best available climate models setting out the detailed nature of these severe challenges to all of us. This requires that all decision making on infrastructure projects must be re-examined to see that investments today are fit for purpose over the coming decades.  The three road schemes proposed on the A47 are examples of developments that ignore the reality of these impacts.”

 

Rupert Read, co-director of Climate Majority Project, said,“The bottom-line is that UK transport plans quite obviously cumulate to blowing through our climate targets. As the subpostmasters have found, British justice may be slow but its eventual arc points towards truth - and (in this case, climate) justice!" 


Dr Boswell is represented by David Wolfe KC, Peter Lockley and Ben Mitchell, instructed by Richard Buxton Solicitors [7]. 

 

Lewis Hadler of Richard Buxton Solicitors said, “This is an important climate case that will have wider implications for the way in which cumulative carbon emissions are considered. Our client and the many people who have supported his case are right to expect proper scrutiny of this important aspect of the assessment of infrastructure projects and for the Government to be held to account for its commitments to address climate change.”

 

ENDS


Notes to Editors

[1] The case is to be heard by a panel of three Judges from 10am Tuesday 16 January 2024 at the Court of Appeal, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, WC2A 2LL. 

 

[2] More information on Dr Boswell’s three legal cases can be found here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/ .  The UEA Law School have also recently made a podcast of Dr Boswell discussing the case with his lead Counsel David Wolfe, KC at tinyurl.com/A47xPodcast

 

[3] More information on the legal challenge to the A38 Derby Junctions scheme can be found here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-the-a38-road-expansion-for-good/ The Claimant for the A38 case will be at the hearing on 16 January and is available for interview. 

 

[4] More information on the legal challenge to the A57 Link Roads scheme can be found here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-mottram-bypass/ 

 

[5] National Highways have estimated the Lower Thames Crossing will increase carbon emissions by 6.6 million tonnes. See https://www.thamescrossingactiongroup.com/ltc-carbon-emissions/ 

 

[6] The Court Order by Lord Justice Coulson which granted permission for the Court of Appeal hearing can be viewed here: https://transportactionnetwork.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/CA-2023-001482-SEALED-ORDER.pdf 

 


Update 23

Dr Andrew Boswell

Jan. 9, 2024

Just 6 days until my Appeal Court hearing on cumulative CO2 pollution from roads

Dear friends and supporters

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/ 

We are now less than a week from the Court of Appeal hearing on Tuesday January 16th.  Huge thanks for all the support since I launched this crowdjustice campaign 18 months ago (read to the bottom to see some thoughts on why this is so important).  This a nationally important case with six roads already in the Courts relying upon the outcome of this Court of Appeal case - the A38 Derby junctions, the A57 in Peak District A303 Stonehenge, and the three A47 schemes in Norfolk themselves.  Each of these cases has its own ground that the cumulative carbon pollution was not assessed properly: the very issue which is before three Law Lords/Ladies at the appeal hearing on Tuesday - so it really is a potentially landmark case.  

Also further schemes like the ecologically devastating Norwich Western Link road, and the mega carbon bomb schemes the A66 Northern Pennines, and Lower Thames Crossing may also have to be reconsidered if this case is successful.   

I still need to raise further legal funds for my superb legal team, so please donate if you can.

Do join us on Tuesday if you can.  The case will be at the Court of Appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice (Map).  Arrive around 0930 if you wish to go into the Court, or arrive at 1245 for a pavement gathering with speakers for several roads campaigns, Becca Lush from Transport Action Network, and Rupert Read from Climate Majority Project

Also please share this widely on your networks, social media and email.

And please take time to listen to this super podcast on this landmark Climate Litigation case with my lead Counsel, David Wolfe, KC. 

Just some thoughts on why climate litigation on UK roads is so vital.  Today the BCC published an article that 2023 has been confirmed as world's hottest year on record with some very good graphs of the incredibly unprecedented geophysical changes which happened to the planet last year.  We all knew this anyway, and I think about it every day.  Here is just one example graph from the BBC article:

The graph shows, as the red area, that every day for the second half of 2023 broke the previous global average temperature record for that day.  No further evidence is needed that we are in a very severe and accelerating Climate Emergency.  Transport is the UK's largest carbon emitting sector, and each time a minister signs off a road scheme, knowing its future footprint of construction and operation emissions, they are knowlingly making this emergency worse.  

Put simply the Government is not treating the Climate Emergency as the Emergency that it is - instead they are doing business-as-usual.  I started my climate litigation work on the basis of acting as if we are in an Emergency, and taking the implications of that to the highest levels of government.  That's why I called my consultancy, under which I develop this and other cases, Climate Emergency Planning and Policy (click to follow my Twitter/X account).

Please help me to win this case at the Court of Appeal to force the Government to start treating carbon emissions as if we are in the Climate Emergency that we are!  Your help much appreciated.

Thank you, Andrew


Update 22

Dr Andrew Boswell

Dec. 29, 2023

New podcast on my appeal case: join us at court on January 16th

As the sun sets on 2023, it is now just two- and a-bit weeks until my Norfolk A47 roads and carbon case goes to the Court of Appeal on Tuesday January 16th.  I am writing to invite you to do three things in this quiet time before the new year really kicks off:

  • Please give generously to the legal fund.  I have raised the target to £85,000 to cover the funds needed for the work which my lawyers have done in assembling the final skeleton arguments for the Appeal hearing, and will be doing at the Hearing itself on January 16th.  The case already been supported by the Court as arguable, thanks to the legal team (see bottom of this message), we do have very strong arguments.  The case is also so important as local politicians in Norfolk and government ministers persistently avoid the real pertinent question which is “do the additional emissions from new roads risk the UK failing on climate policy?”.  To find out more   ….


  • Listen to this podcast I recently made on the case with Tyndall Centre PhD researcher Millie Prosser and Friends of The Earth Lawyer and PhD researcher Acland Bryant (in the University of East Anglia Law School series).  The podcast special guest is the renowned environmental lawyer David Wolfe KC who is also the lead Counsel on my case. We discuss how the core of my case challenges government decision-making around carbon emissions on large road infrastructure projects. Through the lens of my case, the podcast also considers the role and legitimacy of climate litigation in the UK, the significance of climate-related judicial review cases and citizen routes to scrutiny and accountability of government decision-making.  A must listen over this holiday season!


  • Put January 16th in your diary and join us at the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ) in you can – more details below.

(Photo above: some of us with Chris Packham at the June 2023 High Court hearing - Chris has a case in the Courtroom next to ours!).  The A47 case is now critical for three other legal challenges to the UK roads programme each of which have the same cumulative carbon ground and are waiting on the Court of Appeal to decide on it.  These are: the second judicial review to the A303 Stonehenge tunnel (which would devastatingly damage the UNESCO World Heritage site) which was heard at the High Court on December 12th to 14th; the A38 Derby scheme which recently got permission to go to a full High Court hearing; and the A57 Mottram Bypass which lost on the ground of Green Belt damage but would still fall on carbon grounds if my appeal wins.  The case may have impacts on the decision making for other extremely high carbon schemes too especially the massive A66 Northern Trans-Pennine and Lower Thames Crossing schemes which would require, respectively, over 500,000 and 1,400,000 tonnes of CO2 just to construct over the next few years.  (Click links for recent submissions from me on these latter schemes).

I very much looking forward to meeting supporters from these campaigns, and other climate justice campaigns, at a Pavement Protest outside the RCJ at 12:45 on Tuesday January 16th 2024 with a photo opportunity at 1pm.  If you wish to attend the hearing itself from around 1000 am, please contact me at [email protected]

If you wish to read the skeleton arguments for the Jan 16th appeal, then please click here:  tinyurl.com/A47xAPPEAL

Some further thoughts:

I thank everyone who has supported this legal case – there have been over 1800 donations, and I thank each and every one of you.  We have had a super year of outreach and community building with five big fundaisers in Norwich, including three storytelling events, an evening hosted by Norwich Quakers and a Ceildh.  Huge thanks to everyone who came together to create these events which were each sellouts!  

If you have read this far, please do give generously to the legal fund, if you can.  We have very strong arguments, thanks to my legal team who are Lewis Hadler and Matthew McFeeley from Richard Buxtons solicitors, Ben Mitchell and Peter Lockley of 11 King's Bench Walk chambers, and of course, David Wolfe, KC, from Matrix chambers.

Finally, I share this recent letter of mine in the Eastern Daily Press which lays out why it is so crucial, with the costs of failing to tackle climate change being so much greater than those of tackling it, that Governments are held account to properly account carbon pollution in all decisions which may impact the climate.  That is what my legal case is doing!  (Note that the paper also had an editorial on the coastal erosion in Norfolk which is being made worse by climate disruption next to my letter. )

 

Text version of letter with references

Thank you, and best wishes for 2024!



Update 21

Dr Andrew Boswell

Oct. 18, 2023

We've done it - carbon pollution from new roads is going to the Court of Appeal

Very good news today.  Lord Justice Coulson has given permission for the case to go to the Appeal Court, saying it ‘has a real prospect of success’.  His full order is at this link.  As of now, there have been over 1700 pledges towards the campaign - I thank you for each and every one.  

Now we start fundraising for the full appeal itself, and please donate if you can here

To get this far is a win for all of us concerned about the climate breakdown which we have seen unfolding before our very eyes this year. The legal case for appeal from my lawyers is very clear, and very strong, and we will now put all our energies into winning this case.

My press release is below.

Climate campaigner wins next step on A47 schemes

Press release - sent on behalf of Dr Andrew Boswell - 18 October 2023

Permission has been granted by the Court of Appeal  for Dr Andrew Boswell to challenge the granting of development consent for three new, nationally significant road schemes in Norfolk, on the grounds of the Department for Transport’s and National Highways’ failure to properly consider the three schemes’ combined impacts on climate change. 

The Order says that Dr Boswell’s challenge “has a real prospect of success” and acknowledges that “assessment of combined carbon emissions has potentially wide implications”. 

Dr Boswell first challenged the granting of development consent for the three schemes in the High Court in May 2023. Justice Thornton dismissed the challenges in July 2023, but today the Court of Appeal have granted him permission to appeal her decision. Only the very strongest cases are granted permission to proceed to a full appeal hearing. 

The challenge to the three A47 schemes in Norfolk centres on the failure of the Secretary of State for Transport and National Highways to properly assess the combined impact of the three schemes on climate change, instead only looking at each scheme in isolation. 

Dr Andrew Boswell said:

“I feel vindicated today that the Court of Appeal has decided that my cases should proceed.  We are not seeing a reduction in carbon emissions from UK roads. My cases have a real prospect of success in the Appeal court, and this would have wider implications for the Government’s failing climate strategy, especially on transport. National Highways and the Secretary of State for Transport have never properly assessed the combined impact of the three schemes on climate change as I have consistently argued.”

To get this far is a win for all of us concerned about the climate breakdown which we have seen unfolding before our very eyes this year. The legal case for appeal from my lawyers is very clear, and very strong, and we will now put all our energies into winning this case.  Thank you for your support, Andrew

Update 20

Dr Andrew Boswell

Oct. 14, 2023

Govt makes disastrous promise to fund more roads in Norfolk

Very sad to report that the Govt has promised Norfolk County Council over £200m for the Norwich Western Link road yesterday.  However this is just a "promise" from a broken government hoping to get a few more votes.  Campaigners opposing that scheme are more empowered than ever to fight it and stop it, including support from Chris Packham 

My cases are on the A47 schemes, but the NWL would be a development that contributes further traffic growth in the same area, and more construction and traffic carbon pollution for decades.  The NWL is a related project for the cumulative carbon emissions on the A47 schemes.  We cannot afford any of these schemes in the Climate Emergency, and together we will stop them all.

This latest news makes the appeal for the A47 cases even more important.  We wait to hear if we have permission to appeal.  Please keep supporting the legal fund if you can.

Thank you, Andrew

Update 19

Dr Andrew Boswell

Oct. 11, 2023

Stop road building that wrecks the climate and nature

Thank you to everyone who has supported these vital legal cases all the way. Please continue to contribute to the legal fund if you possibly can. The fund is still some way short of the costs of the superb legal team and we will need further funds to make the strongest possible case at the Court of Appeal if we get permission to proceed (expected soon). 

Support this campaign while having a great evening out.  If you live in Norwich area, due to popular demand, our third storytelling event, Untamed Tales III will be on Saturday, October 21 at the Quaker Meeting House, Norwich. Book your tickets (and see video below) here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/untamed-iii-stories-for-the-protection-of-nature-tickets-712841938427

After several recent announcements from the Government, this campaign is never more important.  Rishi Sunak has made a devastating U-turn on climate policy without doing the maths.  Every serious commentator knows the carbon budgets along the way to the net zero 2050 target are in deeper jeopardy following his crazy announcement, and Chris Packham has launched a legal challenge.  Well done, Chris! 

At the same time, Sunak and transport minister Mark Harper are bumping road transport emissions upwards with every new road scheme, and now they using are money from the cancelled HS2 north to raise money to build and lock-in even more carbon pollution.   

Quite simply, Sunak is leading a dishonest and corrupt Government, and this climate U-turn is immoral when we already seeing the plight of people around the world suffering from climate breakdown. 

We have to do everything to stop this, and already taking these cases to the High Court has highlighted how minsters effectively blindfold themselves to the cumulative impacts of carbon pollution when they approve road schemes.  My lawyers have a good case that minsters can’t just blindfold themselves, on their own whim, to the real climate impact of their decisions.  We will work to establish this as a matter of law in the Appeal court. 

The campaign continues to grow from strength to strength, helped immensely by the generosity of a wide community of supporters – thank you if you are one of them.  Please contribute to the on-going fund for the next legal steps if you can. 

You can help in other ways too.  Please share on this message post.  Follow my X-twitter where I regularly post https://twitter.com/Andrew9Boswell , and retweet to your networks. 

There is also a 100 club - 100 people to give £100 each towards the Court of Appeal case.  We are over half way there but there are still places to join the club. I have also noticed that several of you have left messages for me in the comments on the fundraiser offering help. Thank you for these messages – I have been unable to respond in some cases as I didn’t know your emails. If you are interested to help wider, or being part of the 100 club, please send an email to [email protected].

Thank you


Trailer for Untamed Tales III, Saturday, October 21 at the Quaker Meeting House, Norwich 



Update 18

Dr Andrew Boswell

Sept. 17, 2023

Have fun dancing, more storytelling: Events &update on A47 climate Appeal case

I hope you had a good summer break.  Thank you for being part of this vibrant community which is supporting my climate litigation cases against the UK roads programme.  

My Appeal fund here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/ and some progress updates below.  Please donate if you can, now, to build funds to make this crucial climae appeal case a success. 

Now some post-summer news, events and updates.

First, if you live in the Norwich area, there are two upcoming fundraising events. 

Fundraising Ceilidh Friday 29th September.  Have fun dancing to the fabulous Stookey Blue Ceilidh/Folk band. Book tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ceilidh-with-stookey-blue-tickets-696023514067

Due to popular demand .. our third storytelling event, Untamed Tales III.  Saturday, October 21.  Quaker Meeting House, Norwich.  Book your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/untamed-iii-stories-for-the-protection-of-nature-tickets-712841938427

And some updates.  My lawyers submitted my claim for appeal to the Court on July 28th, after detailed legal analysis yielded strong grounds that the High Court judgement was flawed.  We now await the Appeal Court giving permission for the case to go to a full Hearing.  It is vital that it does, as otherwise ministers at the DfT can just continue to ignore increases in carbon from new roads and assume that the heavy lifting of decarbonising the UK will be picked up by other sectors such as Industry and Energy.  We must not allow the DfT to continue with its modus operandi that 'other departments (sectors) will do our decarbonisation work' and 'we can build new roads with impunity to the impacts on climate change'.   Please support my appeal fund here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/

It is a hugely dangerous strategy for Government ministers to think that decarbonisation is just other people's job – it is tantamount to actively promoting climate breakdown, risking lives and social collapse, around the world.  Already the Government's own Carbon Budget Delivery Plan shows the UK is set to fail to deliver its committed national contribution to the Paris agreement in 2030 and the sixth carbon budget in the 2030s.  On Sept 1st, campaign groups announced that a second legal challenge was given permission for a full High Court judicial review on the Government's climate delivery plan.  Read more here https://goodlawproject.org/update/were-challenging-the-government-to-come-clean-on-risks-of-missing-net-zero/.  This is a hugely important case, some of my lawyers are also working on it, and I was very pleased to see it get the go-ahead for a full hearing.  Well done to the claimants ClientEarth, Friend of the Earth, and Good Law Project.

The UK failure on climate change, highlighted by these cases, is an insult to vulnerable communities around the world, and this Government adds injury - death and displacement - to insult every time that the DfT approves another road scheme when Government policies on climate are off target and riddled with delivery risks.  So, finally, I was pleased to see very good colleagues at the “Stop the A38 Expansion Campaign” have recently taken further legal action on a roads project where I gave expert witness evidence a couple of years ago, read more at  https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-the-a38-road-expansion-for-good/

Earlier in the summer, MPs were told by a senior DfT civil servant that climate litigation on roads was “no longer a problem”, see:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1DNXsMg2o8.  Now cases on proposed schemes at Stonehenge, the A38, the A57 and my A47 cases are very much still putting the Govt’s feet to the fire of climate change.  We will continue to do so, and cat for climate justice.   Please continue to support my appeal fund here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/

 

Update 17

Dr Andrew Boswell

July 22, 2023

We must overturn this supposed entitlement to pollute with carbon

Dear Friends

The Government think that they can pollute carbon with impunity - together ... we can stop them. We must, and can, overturn this supposed entitlement to pollute with carbon.

Thank you for all the support over the last year.  We set off to challenge the entitlement to pollute in big infrastructure planning, and how things have changed over these twelve months.  This time last year the UK was breaking all time temperature records and my first grandchild was born - to be honest I was terrified then for the coming generations.  Now, we see temperature records being broken around the world in a global heatwave.  More worrying in my view are the geophysical records being broken (see today's BBC website) - sea temperatures and marine heatwaves, global hottest days for weeks now, and the sea Ice not refreezing as it should do in this year’s Antarctic winter.  These are not so obviously manifesting as the extreme heat but they are beyond unprecedented.  There are not words for this - we are see unquestionably cataclysmic effects happening at a global level in real time.  My second grandchild has been born in this time.  And as I write breaking news that tourists are being evacuated from wildfires in Rhodes.

Despite all this, we see no serious action from our Government.  Instead, the Government continue to make the crisis worse and intentionally so.  I was shocked to see this clip, following the High Court judgment in my case, where a DfT official, sitting with the roads minister, in effect says the Government can build roads (and airports) with impunity to the carbon generated.  This was at the Transport Select Committee this week in Parliament

Schemes were discussed in this session of the TSC committee like the A66 (see my May 18th closing submission on this scheme) and Lower Thames Crossing (see my July 18th submission on this scheme) which will generate over 500,000 and 1,700,000 tonnes of CO2 each respectively - just to build.  As this in the period to 2030 when the UN says we have to cut emissions drastically.   It is schemes like this that the Government want to push ahead with now following the High Court judgement against our case.

At least 1300 of you have backed my cases so far, and together we have to act to stop the Government continuing to make things worse.  It is crucial that we turn over the decision from the High Court which gives impunity Government and developers in the planning system to build high carbon infrastructure.  Our campaign to overturn this decision at the Court of Appeal could not be more important.

Please give what you can at the crowdfunder here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/

As always, thank you to each and every one of you, Andrew





Update 16

Dr Andrew Boswell

July 7, 2023

I am taking the carbon impacts of new roads to the Court of Appeal

Dear Friends

I wanted to tell you as soon as possible.  Today Mrs Justice Thornton handed down a judgement against my cases.  However, it was a well-reasoned judgement and there are clear legal interpretations with which I and my lawyers disagree.  We are commencing immediate legal proceedings to appeal the judgement. 

I attach my full press release below which explains the situation in more detail. These cases are very important.  I am now going to the Court of Appeal to safeguard the clear and wide-ranging legal protections which do exist in UK law.  These are threatened by the relentless pressure and practice from Government and developers, in cases such as these schemes, to erode environmental standards and deregulate by stealth.  You have been part of the journey so far, I hope you can join me on this stage of this journey to the Court of Appeal.

In terms of support, I now need to reach the full target on this crowdfunder, and also start further fundraising for the appeal.  As always, I reach out to ask for your support, if you can, at https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/.

I will be setting up a 100 club – this would be for 100 people to give £100 each to kickstart the funding for the appeal.  I have also noticed that several of you have left messages for me in the comments on the fundraiser offering help.  Thank you for these messages – I have been unable to respond in some cases as I didn’t know your emails.  If you are interested to help wider, or being part of the 100 club, please send an email to [email protected]

This is a big day – the Net Zero Strategy is being taken back to Court (see below) and I am launching the appeal on my cases.

Thanks as ever – the press release is below - Andrew

--

Climate Emergency Planning and Policy

± SCIENCE ± POLICY ± LAW ±

Dr Andrew Boswell

For immediate release 07.07.2023



Scientist to take the carbon impacts of new roads to the Court of Appeal

Mrs Justice Thornton has dismissed Dr Andrew Boswell’s [2] challenge against three road schemes, part of a larger proposed programme, on the A47 in Norfolk in a judgement [1] handed down at the High Court today.  Dr Boswell challenged each planning approval decision on the basis that respective Secretaries of State had not properly considered the cumulative impact of the carbon emissions across all related roads schemes and developments when making their decisions. 

Dr Boswell’s lawyers [3] are commencing immediate legal proceedings to appeal the judgement.  Critically, the Court was given clear evidence that no lawful cumulative assessment had been produced for the carbon emissions which would be generated by the schemes together.  Evidence was also provided that no lawful assessment of the impact of the cumulative emissions on meeting the UK carbon budgets existed.  In the light of this, Dr Boswell does not agree the legal interpretation by the Court and will mount a robust legal case for the Court of Appeal that the Judge made legal errors in reaching her decision.

Dr Boswell says:

“This case is extremely important as it addresses issues of pressing public importance including how the environmental impacts of new infrastructure are assessed and whether the UK can deliver its climate targets.   I am going to the Court of Appeal to safeguard the clear and wide-ranging legal protections which do exist in UK law.  The relentless drive from Government and developers, in cases such as these schemes, to turn a blind eye to the true environmental impacts of the scheme in order to avoid facing up to the true climate impacts of their decisions is astonishing. It is remarkable that the Government has fought tooth and nail merely to avoid having to face up to the cumulative climate impacts of one part of their road-building programme.  

“Over 1500 people who given me fundraising support[4] recognise that it is vital to uphold such protections, and put a stop to this deregulation by stealth, and I am very grateful to them for their backing. 

“The case is of wide importance as the same methodology which systematically ignores cumulative emissions is used to assess nearly all road schemes in the UK.  And as each road scheme is only assessed on its own individual impact, it is approved on the false conclusion that there is no combined material impact, from the many new roads being planned, to the delivery of the UK Net Zero targets. 

“Yet just last week, the risks to delivery of the Net Zero targets from the combined effects of ever-expanding traffic were set out in stark terms by the Government’s own official Climate advisors (the Climate Change Committee)[5] when they advised the Government to conduct a systematic review of current and future road-building projects against delivering climate targets.   Each new scheme in the Government’s endless pursuit of new roads amounts to taking a significant and dangerous backward step in the transition to a low carbon world.  Instead, the Government should be moving forward to implement  genuine transport decarbonisation policies. 

“Today, the Net Zero Strategy itself has also been taken back in Court[8] because the Government has not demonstrated that it can deliver, or has risk assessed delivery of, the relevant carbon budgets.  This also highlights how crucial it is for the impacts of carbon emissions from every new piece of infrastructure, including roads, to be lawfully assessed where they currently are not.

“The climate emergency is very urgent: we cannot afford unnecessary emissions.  This last month has seen temperature records are being broken around the globe, with scientists expressing concern at extremely concerning trends[6].  Today the United Nations has said climate change ‘out of control’ after likely hottest week on record[9]. The climate stakes are high for us, our children and grandchildren.  I embarked upon this legal action for future generations, and I am humbled to now be taking it to the Court of Appeal.”

Recently, Norfolk County Council and some local MPs indicated that they are lobbying central Government for funding for many more A47 schemes and for the full dualling of the A47 from Great Yarmouth to Peterborough[7].  In respect of this, Dr Boswell makes this further statement:


“The A47 Alliance have always wanted to turn the A47 into a near motorway across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.  The plans are for at least nine more destructive road schemes, and up to 80,000 more houses, increasing traffic and environmental impacts across the region including on the Broads National Park between Acle and Great Yarmouth.


“At no stage have the A47 Alliance properly assessed the environmental and climate effects of their grotesque proposals.   The Alliance is out of synch with reality and the times.  It could have be taken as irony when they announced their latest lobbying push to Government in the same week that the Government’s Climate advisors (Climate Change Committee)[5] warned of the combined effects of ever-expanding traffic and set out in stark terms the risks of new road building to the delivery of the Net Zero targets.  


“My legal case on these three A47 schemes comes at the right time to put a halt to this needless road building spree across Norfolk.  Such attempts to cover concrete and tarmac, air pollutants and carbon emissions, across Norfolk belongs to another era, now long gone.  My lawyers [3], today, are starting proceedings to take my case on the first three A47 schemes to the Court of Appeal as there clear and wide-ranging environmental protections at risk which must be upheld, especially in this Climate and Nature Emergency.  I hope for future generations that my campaign will put an end to the A47 Alliance’s outdated ambitions.”




 

Notes:

1. The judgement will be available after 1100 on Friday July 7th.  It will be available at https://tinyurl.com/A47judgement shortly after this.


2. Climate Emergency Policy and Planning (CEPP) is a consultancy, founded by Dr Andrew Boswell, specialising in bringing science-based approaches to policy and law for ecology and climate change.  Its mission purpose is "consultancy to promote the necessary rapid response to the Climate Emergency in mainstream institutions, such as local authorities and government, through the lenses of science, policy, and litigation".    


Dr Boswell has a background in computer modelling of complex phenomena, including climate change. Between 1995 and 2006, he ran the high-performance computer service at the University of East Anglia.  He also has 17 years’ experience working on planning and climate change issues as both a councillor on Norwich City Council and on Norfolk County Council, and as an environmental consultant.


3. Dr Boswell’s legal team are specialist environmental lawyers comprising Matthew McFeeley and Lewis Hadler from Richard Buxton Solicitors of Cambridge, Peter Lockley and Ben Mitchell from 11KBW, with lead Counsel being David Wolfe, KC of Matrix Chambers.  


4. The crowdfunder for the legal action is at: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/


5. https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Progress-in-reducing-UK-emissions-2023-Report-to-Parliament.pdf (see pages 109 and 420)


6. Read climate scientists discussing the latest weather events around the world here; https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jul/03/a-perfect-storm-scientists-ponder-if-climate-has-entered-a-new-erratic-era?CMP=share_btn_tw


7. https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/23625379.fears-norfolk-miss-millions-a47-dualling/


8. https://actions.goodlawproject.org/net_zero_2?utm_source=NB&utm_campaign=NetZeroII&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=CFDonate


9. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jul/07/un-climate-change-hottest-week-world


Update 15

Dr Andrew Boswell

June 23, 2023

Please keep supporting as climate advisors may recommend end of roads programme

Thank you to everyone who has supported these vital legal cases all the way to Court - https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/.  

Please continue to contribute to the legal fund if you possibly can. It continues to grow from your generosity but is still short of the costs of the superb legal team (see my update 13 reporting on the days in Court!).

These cases, and others against individual schemes, have pushed the climate impacts of road building up the agenda.  And just today, we heard that the Government’s climate advisors – the Climate Change Committee (CCC) - are likely to recommend ending the UK road-building programme in a report next week.  The CCC chair, Lord Deben, is reported by the Guardian as saying at a Glastonbury festival climate event “new roads inevitably increased traffic and emissions”, as clipped below. 

It is good news to hear it from the Government’s most senior climate advisor, and I hope that the CCC report on Wednesday will carry the same strong message to Government.

Even so, this Government often blatantly ignores advice from the CCC, and we can expect it to do so if the CCC advises stopping the road program.  So my legal cases are crucial to ensure that proper carbon accounting is reflected in law, so that the devastating impacts of increases in traffic and emissions from new roads are clear to planning inspectors while we wait for a future Government to get serious about Climate Change.    So please support the costs of the superb legal team if you can at https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/.

 Thank you



Update 14

Dr Andrew Boswell

June 7, 2023

My legal cases and the "Not Zero Magic Show"

Thank you to everyone who has supported these vital legal cases all the way to Court - https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/.  Whilst we wait for the judgement from Mrs Justice Thornton, I'd like to share some thoughts on the wider implications below, and why realistic carbon assessment which these cases call for is so crucial on all projects (not just roads but power installations etc, see below).  Please continue to contribute to the legal fund if you possibly can.  The fund is still some way short of the costs of the superb legal team (see my last update reporting on the days in Court!).

At the end of March, the Government released its revised Net Zero Strategy (NZS) under the title Powering Up Britain (PUB).  The PUB/NZS claims to be the strategy to deliver the UK carbon budgets and our obligations under the Paris agreement.  However, it is completely inadequate for many reasons, some below.

First, the UK carbon budgets do not provide the emission cuts needed as a UK contribution to deliver the Paris agreement.  Instead the UK plans to use more than twice it's fair share of the available global carbon budgets; read Prof Kevin Anderson's Factor of Two paper for more on this.  So when considering the NZS as below, it is vital to realise that even if it 100% succeeded on its own targets and policies, the UK would still be hugely behind the curve on the emission reductions needed.

Second, whilst the NZS lays out emission reduction trajectories for each sector eg: domestic, industrial, agriculture, transport etc, it does not provide sectorial targets.  Instead, it assumes that an overshoot of emissions (ie policy failure) in one sector will be made up by even deeper emission cuts in another sector (yes, another sector doing better than policy!).  This is clearly fantasy land thinking from Department of Energy Security and Net Zero civil servants when each sector is deeply challenged to meet it's trajectory, and the policies are far from established or even worked out.

We know policy for emissions reduction in the transport sector has gone into Reverse Gear from Prof Greg Marsden. Policies for agriculture and land use emissions are 58% below those planned in the NZS.  Policies for insulation and electrification of domestic and industrial heating are behind too meaning we continue to rely on gas and oil.  

Where is the sector then which will come to the rescue?  Is is Power?  I think not.  In the last decade, the power sector did make the deepest cuts.  However, Govt policy (literally Powering Up Britain) is based on using gas and blue hydrogen as a transition.  Whilst we hear about offshore wind and solar, we don't hear much about the cynically planned lock-in to fossil fuels. (Offshore wind and solar has been successful but we need much greater ambition for it with a joined up policy for energy storage to avoid going down the route of gas and blue hydrogen, see for example https://cleantechnica.com/2022/09/06/switching-the-world-to-renewable-energy-will-cost-62-trillion-but-the-payback-would-take-just-6-years/).  Recent research has shown that methane leakage is 5 times greater in UK produced gas than the statistics used in UK Govt energy modelling show.  See my recent submission on the Net Zero Teesside (basically a BP gas power plant with carbon capture) on why this means the Power sector will fail to decarbonise as planned . The Govt also now plan that ministers won't have to consider the operational emissions of such power plants so such failing policy won't be clear in the planning process.

Overall, the Govt plans are actually the "Not Zero Magic Show" and the magic tricks planned will fail us.

Third, all of this links back to how road schemes have been serially approved on the basis than their emissions don't count and the NZS will magically balance out the emissions with other sectors.  Take this statement from Secretary of State Mark Harper in a recent decision letter for the A47 Wansford to Sutton (not under challenge in my cases):

“The Secretary of State notes that the Net Zero Strategy has not been quashed and remains government policy. A new report is required to be produced in accordance with the order made by the Court as a result of that successful challenge. As things stand, the Secretary of State has no reason to consider that the Proposed Development will hinder delivery of either the TDP or Net Zero Strategy (whether in its current form or any future updated form).  ... Whilst the Proposed Development will result in an increase in carbon emissions, as set out above, Government is legally required to meet the carbon budgets which provide a pathway to net zero and like the ExA, the Secretary of State considers that the Proposed Development is consistent with existing and emerging national policies designed to achieve the UK’s trajectory towards net zero.”

The draft NNNPS (the planning document for road transport decisions, see https://transportactionnetwork.org.uk/creating-a-genuine-national-transport-policy/) would remove any genuine test on carbon emissions, making transport similar to the power sector where carbon emissions don't have to be taken into account.  Whilst, this has been current practice anyway, the NNNPS would codify this appalling approach which fails all of us now and our children in the near future.

My legal cases are so vital to ensure that proper carbon accounting is reflected in law, and that means cumulative carbon assessment too.  Please support the costs of the superb legal team at https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/.

Many thanks, Andrew
Update 13

Dr Andrew Boswell

May 22, 2023

Help save cumulative environmental assessment as a vital part of planning

Thank you to everyone who has supported my cases.  Mrs Justice Thornton heard the cases at the High Court on May 10th and 11th, and here is an update.

First of all, my legal team led by David Wolfe, Kings Counsel, made an absolutely superb case, and laid out why the law requires cumulative environmental assessment, and how it clearly was not done for carbon emissions for each of the three A47 schemes (including with the proposed Norwich Western link road) close to Norwich.  I was interviewed on Radio Norfolk on the morning of the first day, and this interview is worth listening to as it explains the details simply. 


However, it was astounding that in their case Government lawyers tried to uproot the principle established in case law that projects need to have cumulative environmental assessment when they are separate but related projects, as the schemes in these cases plainly are.  The Government tried to argue it all ways – first claiming that cumulative assessments had been done when, of course, they had not been.  And then claiming that such assessments would be optional - down to discretion - anyway.   As David Wolfe, KC said to the Court if these submissions from the Government were to be accepted then, in the future, it would completely undermine the assessment of cumulative impacts generally across the whole planning system – for all sizes and types of project, and not just for carbon emissions but all environmental issues such noise, biodiversity and air pollution.

As the Government try to scrap environmental law with the Retained EU Bill, my cases are now key to keeping cumulative environmental assessment as a vital part of the planning system.

The legal fund is still short of the money needed to pay the legal fees so far.  Through your great generosity, the fund is around two thirds of where it needs to be, so I have another £25,000 to raise to reach the £75,000 target.  Please donate more money to the legal fund if you possibly can.   Every donation helps defend cumulative environmental assessment from being scrapped as the Government apprears to want to do.  

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/


Update 12

Dr Andrew Boswell

May 9, 2023

TOMORROW: We are in Court 19 (Mrs Justice Thornton)

Just a quick update on the eve of tomorrow's Hearings on the cases.  The Court has just informed us that the Hearings will be in Court 19 at the High Court RCJ- Google Map. The Judge is Mrs Justice Thornton

I wish to thank everyone for the support so far.  These cases have brought many people together - over 1000 people have donated on this site - thank you.  We still have more to raise, and please donate (and donate again) if you are able to do so. 

If you wish to join us at the Court, there will be a gathering at 0930, Wednesday May 10th outside the Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand - map in link above.  If you wish to go into the Court for the hearing, please let me know of andrewboswell AT fastmail DOT co DOT uk just so I have an idea of numbers.  

If you wish to read my lawyer's skeleton arguments, please click here Skeleton

Huge thanks, all the best, Andrew

Update 11

Dr Andrew Boswell

May 6, 2023

Now just a few days until we go Court

My legal cases on transport carbon emissions go to the High Court NEXT WEEK.

Thank you for supporting these cases, and for the many donations made by well over 1000 people now.  I still need to raise further funds for the legal fund, so please donate again if you can (Link).  Thank you.

Do join us outside Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday May10th at 0930 for a gathering before the hearings.  The RCJ are in the Strand (Map).  I am hoping that you may be able to come inside if you want to hear the court proceedings too.  Please contact me on Andrew DOT boswell AT fastmail DOT co DOT uk if you would like to do so, so I have an idea of numbers.

One update is that very recently National Highways produced a bat licence.  This is what the company had been unable to provide before the approval decision for the scheme last summer despite the presence of rare bats including barbastelles.  Whilst my legal team had prepared very strong arguments around whether the decision to approve a road such as the A47 Tuddenham scheme could ever be lawful in the absence of a bat licence, we have not be able take these legal arguments forward to the Court on this occasion.  This is disappointing as the arguments were general and would have helped with other similar development cases. Clearly, National Highways realised this in producing the required licence at the last minute to avoid the issues reaching the Court. 

Just a reminder that the cases relate to four large road schemes (three A47 schemes) around Norwich as in the map below, and include areas of high biodiversity, and the Wensum and Tud chalk stream rivers.



Update 10

Dr Andrew Boswell

April 24, 2023

BBC interview on the cases - "Sensible cases"

A very quick update here to share this recording of BBC Politics East where I speak on the legal cases.  As the Conservative MP Duncan Baker says in the interview toward the end of the clip "these are sensible cases" to require environmental assessment to be properly done.  

I am very grateful for all the support so far and my lawyers and I are preparing in the final submissions before we go to the High court on May 10th.  

Please share widely and donate to the legal fund if you can 👉 https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/

If you wish to go to the High Court on May 10th, please let me know on [email protected]

Update 9

Dr Andrew Boswell

April 12, 2023

Breaking news - UK road building spree will derail UK net-zero target

Dear All,

!! Breaking news !!

The Guardian runs the story on that the UK road building spree will derail UK net-zero target.  The story based on some of my work which I wrote about in last week's update on the recently revised Net Zero Strategy.  Read more here: https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2023/apr/12/road-building-spree-will-derail-uks-net-zero-targets-warn-campaigners

(By the way, the article has got the headline figure wrong - it is a massive 130MtCO2 as I explained last week - I am trying to get article corrected).

We know how to stop this destruction, and protect our climate targets.  Stop building roads!

Thank you if you have already supported my legal cases which are all about stopping the carbon deceptions that prevail in every road planning decision.  Today my lawyers have submitted our full "skeleton" legal arguments to the Court, covering both bats and carbon, ready for May 10th/11th, and hugely detailed.  

We spent all day yesterday finalising the arguments and the work continues.  Please support the incredible work my legal team are doing.  

Please donate again if you can and help me stop the suicidal road building spree here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/

Please forward to friends and family!

Many thanks

Andrew
Update 8

Dr Andrew Boswell

April 4, 2023

STOP PRESS .. road transport has sunk UK pledge under the Paris agreement

Last week, the scale of the deception around UK road transport emissions became starkly clear.  My legal cases are all about challenging this deception and putting an end to it.  I am so, so grateful for all the contributions which you have already made and as my legal team move towards the Court hearing in just five weeks time, I ask you again that you give whatever support you can.  Many, many thanks.  


Sorry longer than usual, but I need to get a bit technical in this week’s update to explain why road transport emissions are literally trashing the UK's climate commitments under the Paris agreement.  Nearly 3000 pages across 45 documents, before lots of numbers in lots of spreadsheets, were released by the Government on March 30th -  in response to last year’s successful legal challenge against the Net Zero Strategy.  However, just the couple of extracts below show the extent of the issues with transport emissions – the sector already responsible for over one quarter of UK carbon emissions.  


Government technocrats got the baseline emissions for transport badly wrong in the NZS.  The only sector with significant changes in the new Carbon Budget Delivery Plan (CBDP) which seeks to meet the requirements of last summer’s legal judgement is transport, see this extract from the Powering Up Britain Technical Annex:


Together, these adjustments lead to an increase in baseline emissions of 4MtCO2e/year on average in the 4th Carbon Budget period, 9Mt/year for 5th Carbon Budget, and 13Mt/year in the 6th Carbon Budget period.


This shows that for the 15 years of the 4th, 5th and 6th carbon budgets (2023-2037), a massive 130 million of tonnes of CO2 has been added to the baseline – meaning that ambition for reducing emissions in the transport sector has had to be scaled down (see this tweet from the Chief Executive of the Climate Change Committee).   


130 million tonnes of CO2 is a very large miscalculation.  The amount of carbon is around the total annual economy carbon footprint of Nigeria (or the Phillipines, or the Netherlands) in 2020.


What does this huge change to the figures mean for UK Climate targets?  The CDBP explains the impact on the UK’s National Determined Contribution – our pledge to reduce emissions by 68% (from 1990 levels) by 2030 made at the Glasgow COP.  This promise is no longer possible to meet according to the CBDP:



What is striking is that the CBDP is short of around 8 million tonnes of CO2 emission reductions in 2030 which is less than the baseline adjustment for transport in that year of 9 million tonnes.  So the entire shortfall for our international obligation comes from the transport sector miscalculation.


Transport campaigners have said for decades that if transport emissions are not dealt with by serious policy, then other sectors will have to make deeper cuts to compensate.  Now we see that happening clearly.  Virtually all emissions reduction policy for transport is based around electric vehicles and increasing biofuels.  This is a prescription for failure as serious demand reduction and model shift is required too, but not happening (instead we see further devastation of public transport year on year), and EVs won't deliver a significant contribution in time to help with the 2030 and 2035 climate targets.


To meet our NDC under Paris, other sectors now have to find 8 million tonnes of emission cuts, originally promised by the transport sector, or we fail the international community.


What’s more, under the Paris agreement, the UK is expected to submit a new NDC in 2025.  How can the UK submit a more ambitious NDC when it can’t even meet the existing pledge?  Serious work in transport decarbonisation is needed now, this decade, to be able to submit a stronger NDC in 2025.  


Angry?  Despite, this utter failure, the UK Government continue to expand the roads programme which adds new emissions from construction and operation of faster roads carrying more traffic.  Only legal cases like mine can start to turn this around by requiring proper carbon assessment.  Please support the cases.    

 https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/




Update 7

Dr Andrew Boswell

March 29, 2023

Just six weeks from High Court hearing - Let's stop high-carbon road building

You are reading this because you know how important protecting our children's future is.  You may have already supported the cases -  a big Thank You if you have. These cases could change how road schemes are assessed for carbon emissions and protected species, and we are now just six weeks from the full High Court hearing.  

Turning around Government policy and practice is never more important after the IPCC report last week.  I've been reading the summary report and this graphic really moved me.  And it shows why climate litigation cases like these are so important.  Considerable warming is locked in even on the "very low" scenario, but the Government's policies are currently headed much more into the very dark red/purple area.  (see more)  

We have to rapidly bend the emissions curve down: that is why we have to start by not adding new unnecessary emissions from building unneeded roads.  Let's stop road building which wrecks nature and climate! 

My lawyers are working on the final arguments for Court, and I still have to raise more funds for their legal costs. Please continue to share this fundraiser link widely  Stop road building that wrecks the climate and nature (A47BNB/Norfolk) (crowdjustice.com) and please donate again if you can. I am very grateful for anything you can do to support these vital cases.  Huge thanks for all you have done already!

Andrew

PS: Some other things to share

Update 6

Dr Andrew Boswell

March 20, 2023

IPCC delivers "final warning" - our work starts here

The IPCC has just published a "final warning" report, called by UN chief Antonio Guterres a "survival guide for humanity". 

The message cannot be clearer - Govts in rich nations must step up for the Climate now.  

Our work to get genuine climate action from our UK Govt starts here.  Thank you for your support for my legal cases for honest carbon assessment of road schemes.  I am thinking of the dire warnings of the IPCC report, as I write to ask for your help again.  

My lawyers will be Court for two days in May.  £75000 is needed to fund these cases, and to help this happen, please pledge again if you can, and even consider making a monthly or fortnightly pledge for the next crucial months.  Please consider also  

  • Share this facebook post on how badly the Govt is off track with its Net Zero Strategy with the transport sector being the worst
  • Retweet this tweet - also on the "Net Zero gap" in transport
  • Emailing five of your friends to asking them to support these cases too
  • Do say that you have pledged to encourage others!  

We know that until Govts are honest about how carbon emissions are assessed and accounted, they cannot make the real policy changes necessary.  Litigation via these legal cases is an effective tool to transform road policy.  Roads are effectively greenwashed through the planning system with the real climate and nature impacts being underestimated.   Here is a chart from last week's Green Alliance's Net Zero Policy tracker - transport in the biggest emissions sector, yet has least committed policy.

Thank you for your support! 

Update 5

Dr Andrew Boswell

March 10, 2023

Let's not allow the burning of our world to continue through bad decisons

My cases go to the High Court on May 10th and 11th, now just 10 weeks away, and my lawyers are busy drafting their skeleton arguments for the Court.  More funds are needed to support their vital expert work, so please donate if you can. 

This week’s update follows Mark Harper, Secretary of State for Transport announcing delays to several large road schemes in the second roads programme (RIS2) yesterday.    Whilst road campaigners have widely welcomed this, the decision was made solely on economic grounds – what Mr Harper called “headwinds”: inflation, the Ukraine war, and supply chain disruption.   

Like so much with this Government, the elephant in the room – the Climate Emergency - was ignored.  Mr Harper should have been thinking of the catastrophic impact on the climate that these schemes would have.  If he had, he would have cancelled them completely.  

The Government are acting in denial - as if they had never introduced the UK net-zero legislation.  They deny that carbon generating road schemes damage the climate and even claim that they don't impede delivering net-zero.  This is a false claim possible only because of the sneaky assessments of carbon emissions for road projects which systematically underestimate the climate impacts, and which I am legally challenging.    

For example, in my legal cases, four new big roads are planned close to Norwich which will dramatically increase carbon emissions, but the climate impacts have been deliberately underestimated for planning by considering each scheme in isolation.  As in this Guardian article, “You’ve got an ideal situation here where you should do a cumulative [carbon] assessment … but they have gone to every length to salami-slice it and look at each scheme’s emissions separately.

My cases show this breaches the law, and it is happening on every scheme in planning in the UK, so the cases supported by this crowdfunder are of national importance: if successful, they would put an end to this deliberate downplaying of the impact of road building on climate change.

Our atmosphere is already overloaded with carbon emissions. We simply cannot afford any additional emissions if we are to avoid ever-increasing climate change impacts such as the heatwaves and wildfires experienced last summer, and on-going droughts affecting food production. This means the carbon emissions from each new road scheme must be properly assessed, and please donate to my cases to help make this happen.

Let's not allow the burning of our world to continue through bad decisons.  Thank you






Update 4

Dr Andrew Boswell

March 4, 2023

We are in Court soon - Give bats and carbon a day in Court

The High Court hearing on the three A47 cases to protect the climate and nature from road building is now very close.  Although the Court set dates of May 10th and 11th, National Highways recently have applied for a Court order for an earlier date. 

This could make it harder for my legal team, but my lawyers are working flat out to ensure we are ready to do everything we can to win this case whenever the hearing is held.   Preparing the final arguments for the cases is incurring considerable costs, and please donate whatever you can today to help see these cases succeed in the High Court.  

My previous updates have largely been on how these cases highlight that the assessment of carbon emissions for new roads is deeply flawed, allowing schemes impacting the delivery of the UK climate targets to get nodded through.  In the Climate and Nature emergency,  has got to stop ... now ... and thank you for your support in getting the cases to this point on carbon.

However, did you know that we also have a legal ground about whether decisions on such large infrastructure projects are protecting rare species and complying with the Habitats Regulations as they should?   This is because the Secretary of State also nodded through the A47 North Tuddenham to Easton scheme in the absence clear evidience that it would not severely impact the rare barbastelle bat (see note at end for more on these bats).  

This is what the Secretary of State said when approving the scheme in August 2022:

However, Natural England has said the scheme did not satisfy the vital Favourable Conservation Status test in December 2021.

And then, when asked days before the decision if they could say that there were no impediments to a bats licence being issued to allow construction of the scheme, Natural England said the following:

Despite this, the decision to nod the scheme through was made.  I believe that this is unlawful and breaches law for planning decisions on large infrastructure to comply with the Habitats Regulations.  Please donate whatever you can today to help my lawyers get this decision turned over in the High Court.


Notes of barbastelle bats:

The barbastelle bat is on the red list of endangered species and is listed as near threatened. Little is known about this bat and there are few sightings of it. Its range is limited to Southern and Central England and Wales and there are an estimated 5000 individuals.  Read more here 

The bats in my case above, at risk from the A47 road, are from the same super-colony of barbastelle bats threatened by the close-by close by Norwich Western Link road.


Update 3

Dr Andrew Boswell

Feb. 14, 2023

Some good news .. let's keep the pressure on for proper carbon appraisal

My A47 cases are heading for the High Court in May.  Thank you to all of you who have supported these vital cases for climate and nature.  My lawyers are carefully reviewing the responses from the Government, and I need to more than double the funds raised so far for the cases.  I recently updated the target to £50,000 to reflect the current funding needs, although more than that is needed overall.  

This update has a couple of pieces of related good news below.  Please give what you can to help these cases succeed and change how the Government appraises road schemes for climate and nature.   

Here are the good news items ... 

First, the Welsh Government made the landmark announcement today that dozens of roads projects are to be scrapped following a series of tough tests on their impact on climate change.  Read more here: Welsh road building projects stopped after failing climate review.  The UK Government lags massively behind the clear thinking of the Welsh Government which has placed the climate and ecological emergency at the heart of decision making.  However, if successful, my cases will require the UK Government to consider climate change properly in their decisions too. 

Second, last month after months of prevarication the DfT finally responded to an Freedom of Information request from Prof Greg Marsden for the calculations underpining the Government Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP).  Prof Marsdem has published some thoughts on his initial analysis here:  The route to Net Zero: DfT assumptions look well off course.

All last year when I was giving evidence to the planning examinations on various road schemes, the incredible claim being made by road promoters was that the TDP would deliver all the necessary carbon savings to meet net zero.  Or in other words ... we can continue to build roads and the TDP will sort out the carbon.  The graph below has become known as the "fuzzy" graph, and road promoters were saying because the glossy TDP policy document exists with this graph that ... hey presto ... the road system would switch from the blue to green paths.   

From this FoI response, we now can be sure that there is no inevitable success for the TDP,  and that the UK is already so off track on Transport Behavioural Factors and roll-out of electric vehicles, that the TDP is at a very high risk of not delivering the first stage to 2035.  As Prof Marsden's article says "We are already behind the game and the implications of a past decade of inaction means the Carbon chickens have well and truly come home to roost.

These examples show we are winning in making the case for proper carbon appraisal. Please help my cases win too, and give what you can to help.  

Thank you, Andrew

 

Update 2

Dr Andrew Boswell

Dec. 14, 2022

UPDATE / BREAKING NEWS: My Judicial Review cases have just got permissions

Dear Friends,

UPDATE / BREAKING NEWS  

My Judicial Review cases have just got permissions to go to the next stage of a full Judicial Review from Judge Holgate this afternoon.  Thank you everyone who helped my crowdfunder: your generosity and dedication to protecting nature and climate got us this far.  Pleased share this success widely on your networks.  Together, we have achieved this first stage.  

Now we need to build for the full hearing in Court next year, do celebrate this success and support my crowdfunder if you can for the next steps:  https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/

The cases for the three Norfolk A47 schemes will be joined into one case for the High Court, and grounds on both 1) no cumulative assessment of the climate impacts of the carbon assessment**  and 2) that the bat licencing relating to the Norfolk super-colony of barbastelle bats was not done correctly will now be heard in the High Court.

** Last week, we had the carbon deception of the Govt ploughing ahead with the Cumbria coal mine.  Carbon deceptions happen daily in the way these road schemes are assessed, smaller but they add up: only a relatively small figure of carbon just for the scheme, calculated in isolation, is compared against the whole national carbon budget.  

My cases seek to make it very clear in law that road schemes need to be assessed cumulatively. This is vital to tackling climate change and getting the Government to take the right actions for decarbonisation of transport.     

This crowdfunder at https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/ supports all three cases.  

I am very grateful for your continuing support.  

Many thanks, Andrew


REMINDER OF THE THREE SCHEMES, THREE CASES


Update 1

Dr Andrew Boswell

Nov. 6, 2022

As Govts meet at COP27 & 1.5degrees is lost: deceptions at all levels must stop

Thank you for your interest in this legal case.  Here is an update.  Some exciting news - the case is now three cases against all three A47 schemes near Norwich, and we are moving towards a hearing in the High Court to get permission for a Judicial Review covering all three case.   Support from this site has helped me get this far, now we need another push to get to the full hearing probably in the new year.  Please help by donating again if you can.

Here is a bit more about the cases as Govts meet at COP27 and even the Economist said that the 1.5degrees target under the Paris agreement is lost.

This means deceptions at all levels must stop.

Currently the UK Govt is expanding both the supply side and demand side of the  fossil fuels production and consumption.

They want to expand supply with new oil/gas exploration and extraction.  Just Stop Oil are right, this is the wrong policy and should cease immediately.

But the demand side is bad too.  The Govt want to build more high-carbon infrastructure, locking in fossil fuel consumption into the economy.   (Electric vehicles won't reduce emissions rapidly enough). 

This is how the Government is deceiving us on carbon emissions in transport.  When road schemes are assessed for their climate impact, the scheme is always considered in isolation. This seriously underestimates the real climate impacts. It ignores the cumulative impact of lots of schemes being put forward at the same time, sometimes on the same area.

Consider this example, this case.  Currently four road schemes are being brought forward close to Norwich, each increasing traffic and emissions

However each scheme has been put through planning in isolation, assessing only its environmental impacts.  The total impact is never considered.

I now have legal challenges against three of these schemes in the High Court saying they should all be assessed together.  Considering them in isolation is unlawful. 

The legal cases are building momentum and we are due to go to Court in the next month to get permission for the full Judicial Review hearing across all three schemes (ie treating them as one case).

Please help me fund this case at this critical point, help me get the case all the way to the High Court.

Please back the legal case to  here👉https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-road-building-wrecking-climate-nature/

Let's stop this deception which is trashing our climate.

Please forward and share, Andrew 🙏🙏


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