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expert reaction to the government being defeated in the High Court over its climate plans

Scientists react to government defeat in the High Court over climate plans. 


Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Chair of the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London, said:

“In my 10 years on the Climate Change Committee and since, it has become ever clearer that the Government does not have the policies that are essential for meeting the future emission targets that they themselves have set. That this is contrary to the legal requirement contained in the Climate Change Act has been confirmed by the High Court decision. Can we hope for more honesty and action in future?”


Prof John Barrett, Professor in Energy and Climate Policy at the University of Leeds, said:

“The UK Government has failed to describe a credible pathway for the UK to achieve its legally binding climate commitments. This is despite overwhelming evidence from the Climate Change Committee and university researchers on the various options available to the Government.

“Many of these options also deliver numerous co-benefits such as warmer homes, cheaper bills, more energy security, better air quality, more jobs and a healthier society. It is time for the UK Government to take climate change seriously and tell us how they are going to achieve their own targets.”


Dr Caterina Brandmayr, Director of Policy and Translation at the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London, said:

“This ruling is a simple reminder for the UK government that it is their duty under law to meet their emission reduction targets. Setting a target and saying they’re going to do it, despite policy plans falling short, isn’t enough.  

“To keep warming below 1.5 or 2C, decision makers need to introduce credible policies to drive real world emission cuts. This is not only the best way to fight climate change, but it is also essential to revitalise the UK economy and support households across the country through lower energy bills and better health.”




Declared interests

The nature of this story means everyone quoted above could be perceived to have a stake in it. As such, our policy is not to ask for interests to be declared – instead, they are implicit in each person’s affiliation.

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