Climate Change in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Griffin (Anne Marie) (R) v London Borough of Newham
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 20 January 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 (on the application of Plan B Earth) v Secretary of State for Transport
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 27 February 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.

  • R (on the application of Christopher Packham) v Secretary of State for Transport
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 31 July 2020

    The Committee on Climate Change, whose function, in part, is to provide advice to the Government on climate change mitigation and adaptation (section 38(1)), is required to report annually to Parliament on the progress made towards meeting the carbon budgets (section 36), and the Secretary of State is required to respond (section 37).

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

  • Friends of the Earth Ltd v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 18 July 2022

    As I have said, the obligation under s.13 is a continuing one ([164] above). No doubt the development of policy measures is kept under review by officials and by the Secretary of State, but my judgment does not address how often and when quantitative analysis might be required to be carried out. Such issues are essentially matters of judgment for the defendant and his officials.

  • Friends of the Earth Ltd and Another v North Yorkshire County Council Third Energy Uk Gas Ltd (Interested Party)
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 20 December 2016

    The application for planning permission did not include any development at Knapton. Paragraph 122 of the National Planning Policy Framework ("NPPF") advises planning authorities that they should focus on whether the development is an acceptable use of land, rather than on control of processes or emissions where these are subject to approval under pollution control regimes, and it should be assumed that those regimes will operate effectively.

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Books & Journal Articles
  • Climate Change Law
    • No. 20-4, December 2011
    • Social & Legal Studies
    • 0000
    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?
    • No. 49-1, January 2012
    • Journal of Peace Research
    • 0000
    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 Negative Duties
    • No. 32-1, February 2012
    • Politics
    • 0000
    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...
  • Intergenerational Justice and Climate Change
    • No. 47-1, March 1999
    • Political Studies
    • 0000
    Global climate change has important implications for the way in which benefits and burdens will be distributed amongst present and future generations. As a result it raises important questions of i...
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Law Firm Commentaries
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