Heathrow airport expansion is unlawful, says UK court

(EurActiv, 28 Feb 2020) A British appeals court said on Thursday (27 February) that a proposed expansion of Heathrow airport is illegal because it is not in keeping with the government’s own climate policies fixed under the Paris Agreement.

Heathrow’s planned €16 billion third runway would bring 700 more planes per day to the UK’s busiest airport, which already counts 80 million passengers every year. The court’s ruling now puts the project in doubt.

Legal charity Plan B submitted the legal challenge against the UK government’s 2018 decision to back a new runway and it is the first major court ruling to take the Paris climate accord into account. It may spur more legal action both in the UK and globally.

Court of Appeals Lord Justice Lindblom said: “The Paris Agreement ought to have been taken into account by the Secretary of State. The National Planning Statement was not produced as the law requires.” 

He added that the government had seen the ruling in advance but did not take up the option to appeal it at the Supreme Court.

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EurActiv, 28 Feb 2020: Heathrow airport expansion is unlawful, says UK court