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Plan B Earth v Secretary of State for Transport

1 May 2019

High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, Planning Court, Divisional Court 

Citation: [2019] EWHC 1070 (Admin)

Judges: Hickinbottom and Holgate

Date: 1 May 2019

This matter concerned the expansion of Heathrow International Airport. Plan B Earth, Friends of the Earth and others argued that the Secretary of State for Transport’s national policy statement suporting the expansion of Heathrow  violated the Planning Act, 2008 and the Human Rights Act, 1998 on account of him not taking into consideration the Paris Agreement and climate change more broadly. The Court however found that the Secretary had any obligations to consider the Paris Agreement climate targets, the science underlying those climate targets, or a more stringent potential future climate target necessary for meeting the Paris Agreement.

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Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

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