HEATHROW EXPANSION PLANS STOPPED IN THEIR TRACKS
Plans to build another runway at Heathrow airport have been declared unlawful for failing to take the UK’s climate commitments into account
On Thursday 27 February, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that the government’s decision to approve a new third runway at Heathrow is illegal, as it breaches its own policy commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
Aviation is a rapidly expanding sector globally, and one of the most carbon-intensive forms of transport. However, its distribution is uneven. According to a Department for Transport survey, in England, roughly 20 per cent of people take 70 per cent of all flights, while around half of people do not take any flights at all in a given year. A third runway at Heathrow would bring an extra 700 planes per day through the airport, already one of the busiest in Europe.
“The Paris Agreement ought to have been taken into account by the secretary of state in the preparation of the [Heathrow policy] but was not,” the ruling by three Court of Appeal judges said.
The challenge had previously been dismissed in the High Court in May 2019.
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May - June 2020