Climate Change in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • R (on the application of Plan B Earth) v Secretary of State for Transport
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 27 Feb 2020

    The authority must be free to form a reasonable view of its own on the nature and amount of information required, with the specified considerations in mind. This, in our view, indicates a conventional “Wednesbury” standard of review – as adopted, for example, in Blewett. A standard more intense than that would risk the court being invited, in effect, to substitute its own view on the nature and amount of information included in environmental reports for that of the decision-maker itself.

    Secondly, and in any event, if he had appreciated he had any discretion in the matter, we agree that the only reasonable view open to him was that the Paris Agreement was so obviously material that it had to be taken into account.

  • Griffin (Anne Marie) (R) v London Borough of Newham
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 20 Ene 2011

    When making his announcement on 15 January 2009, the Secretary of State expressly requested CCC's advice as to policy. It was not for the Council to work out a new policy in the meantime. The Council would, in my judgment, have been wrong to do so. The important questions which arise call for national guidance and not speculation by a local planning authority as to the effect of a target announced for 2050.

  • R (London Borough of Hillingdon) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 20 Abr 2010

    It is a trite proposition in administrative law that no policy can be set in stone. It must be open to reconsideration in the light of changing circumstances. This position had been acknowledged in the 2003 ATWP itself, which had recognised the need for periodical review and consultation to take account of changing circumstances.

    Similarly, failure to take account of material considerations is unlikely to justify intervention by the court if it can be remedied at a later stage. It would be different if the failure related to what I described in argument as a “show-stopper”: that is a policy or factual consideration which makes the proposal so obviously unacceptable that the only rational course would be to abort it altogether without further ado.

  • R (on the application of Plan B Earth) v Secretary of State for Transport
    • Supreme Court
    • 16 Dic 2020

    The Divisional Court (para 648) and the Court of Appeal (para 237) held that the Paris Agreement fell within the third category identified in Fewings. In so far as it is an international treaty which has not been incorporated into domestic law, this is correct.

  • Barbone v Secretary of State for Transport
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 13 Mar 2009

    However, Mr Stinchcombe pointed to a number of statements made by or on behalf of ministers (“the ministerial statements”) following publication of the ATWP (including during the course of legal proceedings: see next paragraph), to the effect that when making any decision on a project supported by the ATWP the decision-maker would be required to take into account all the environmental impacts and economic effects of the project (including, so far as the latter was concerned, a “rigorous economic assessment”), even if to do so might lead to a refusal of planning permission for the project in question, in frustration of the national policy support for it expressed within the ATWP.

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Books & Journal Articles
  • Climate Change Law
    • Núm. 20-4, Diciembre 2011
    • Social & Legal Studies
    This article considers how climate change law, global politics, and governance structures facilitate and sustain economic and social insecurity. Climate change itself targets existing environmental...
  • Could climate change precipitate peace?
    • Núm. 49-1, Enero 2012
    • Journal of Peace Research
    Growing interest in the social consequences of climate change has fueled speculation that global warming could lead to an increase in various forms of political violence. This article examines the ...
  • Climate Change and Nuclear Energy
    • Núm. 15-5, Agosto 2001
    • International Relations
  • Climate Change and Negative Duties
    • Núm. 32-1, Febrero 2012
    • Politics
    Climate change and its harmful effects are widely accepted. A common approach is to argue along the lines of Mill's ‘harm principle’: if we contribute to climate change, then we are likewise respon...
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Law Firm Commentaries
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