Saturday, March 2, 2024
 
 

Plans for Heathrow new runway blocked over climate concerns

EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL
A plane passes a sign as it comes into land at Heathrow Airport in Hounslow, Britain, 25 June 2018.

- Advertisement -

Plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport have been thrown into uncertainty following a ruling by the court of appeal which found that the government’s decision for expansion was not aligning with its climate commitments.
The case was brought to court by, among others, the Mayor of London, councils and environmental groups including Plan B and Greenpeace. The ruling was welcomed by the plaintiffs as a step that would ensure the inclusion of the government’s climate commitments deriving from the Paris Agreement into the national aviation policy.
In 2018, the government released the Airports National Policy Statement, which was backing the expansion at Heathrow Airport. However, campaign groups have repeatedly expressed their opposition with such a move challenging the decision with a series of judicial reviews which were initially dismissed by the high court. 
However, the court of appeal’s new ruling indicated that moving on with the expansion of Heathrow would not take into account the government’s commitments under Paris Agreement for rapid emissions reduction to keep global temperature increases below 1.5 ºC. 
The new decision doesn’t exclude the possibility that a third runway could be built in the future, however this requires the government to make the Heathrow project compatible with its climate targets.
The government said that it would not appeal against the judgement, however it is already considering its future steps. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, in a tweet said that, “Airport expansion is core to boosting global connectivity. We also take seriously our commitment to the environment. The Government won’t appeal today’s judgement given our manifesto makes clear any Heathrow expansion will be industry led.’’
Heathrow, on the other hand, announced that the issue will be challenged to the supreme court. “I’m confident that this issue is fixable, and we can work with the government to get on and deliver the expanded Heathrow that Britain needs,” said Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye, adding that ‘‘Without Heathrow expansion, there will be no global Britain.”
Before becoming Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has prominently opposed a third runway. In an indicative statement he made in 2015, he said, “I will lie down with you in front of those bulldozers and stop the construction of that third runway”.
However, finding a balance between the UK’s crucial economic future deriving from the country’s recent divorce from the European Union and its ambitious climate goals, would be a challenge for the government.
The court’s ruling, introduced a legal precedent that major infrastructure projects can’t process without the country’s climate targets taken into account. The judgement is the first major ruling to be based on the Paris Agreement.

- Advertisement -

Subscribe to our newsletter

Latest

EU Parliament strives to protect energy market from manipulation

Responding to the energy crisis exacerbated by Russia's invasion...

Russia sanctions remain a powerful tool to support Ukraine’s defense

Western leaders should not dismiss the two-year long sanctions...

New U.S. Russia sanctions widen scope, adding 500 new targets

The U.S. State Department released a comprehensive list of...

Don't miss

EU Parliament strives to protect energy market from manipulation

Responding to the energy crisis exacerbated by Russia's invasion...

Russia sanctions remain a powerful tool to support Ukraine’s defense

Western leaders should not dismiss the two-year long sanctions...

New U.S. Russia sanctions widen scope, adding 500 new targets

The U.S. State Department released a comprehensive list of...

US Democrats overseas to hold primaries in early March

  In an election year where most U.S. voters are...

Clear Direction or Misleading Headlines

In a world full of stories all noisily striving for attention, the individual importance of some of them will be exaggerated through scary headlines...

EU law banning greenwashing to empower consumers for the green transition

Companies can no longer market their goods using unfounded claims about their environmental impact and durability, Croatian MEP Bijana Borzan told NE Global in...

Viking Link undersea cable to power up UK and Denmark

On December 29, Danish transmission system operator (TSO) Energinet launched the Viking Link, the world’s longest electricity interconnector, establishing a subsea cable connection across...

COP28 focuses on Central Asia’s sustainable future

At COP28, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Kazakhstan organized a Green Projects Pitching Event to spotlight innovative and sustainable initiatives across Central...

Spare a thought for the environment this Christmas

In the run up to the festive season many people will be travelling by plane to visit family and friends. Spending time with loved...

Ukraine, Middle East will dominate Cameron’s UK foreign policy agenda

David Cameron, who was made Foreign Secretary in a surprise move by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his cabinet reshuffle on November 13, is...

Cameron’s return as Foreign Secretary raises UK’s international profile

David Cameron, who was made foreign secretary in a surprise move by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his cabinet reshuffle on November 13, brings...

The EU Green Deal is a barrier to trade and global partnerships

There is an English saying that if you can’t see the wood for the trees, then you should step back and then you will...