New Heathrow Runway Thrown Out By Judges

By Paul Homewood

 As had been trailed, the Court of Appeal have thrown out plans for Heathrow’s third runway:


Campaigners have won a Court of Appeal ruling over controversial plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport on environmental grounds.

A group of councils in London affected by the expansion, environmental charities including Greenpeace, Friends Of The Earth and Plan B, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, brought legal action over the Government’s approval of the plans.

Judges singled out the former transport secretary Chris Grayling in their ruling, agreeing with lawyers for the campaign groups that he had not enough consideration was given to the environment in his plans.

The UN’s Paris Agreement, which came into force in November 2016, commits signatories to tackling climate change by taking measures to limit global warming to well below 2C.

But giving their ruling on Thursday, Lords Justice Lindblom, Singh and Haddon-Cave said the Government did not take enough account of its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change when setting out its support for the proposals in its National Policy Statement (NPS).


Significantly the Court rejected all of the other appeals, notably concerning noise and air quality issues. The only one they allowed was the climate issue.

The reference to the Paris Agreement seems to be a spurious one, as none of its signatories actually committed to any actions that would keep warming below 2C. Indeed, the specific plans in total would lead to a large increase in emissions by 2030.

The UK, as part of the EU commitment, agreed to reductions in emissions, which are built into its carbon budgets and are on track. It is difficult to see what legal right three judges have in dictating to the government how these reductions should be managed. Particularly when the Heathrow expansion was overwhelmingly approved by Parliament.

What this judgement does do is open the floodgates to challenges to any and every infrastructure development the green loons don’t like.

Meanwhile China is planning to double its number of airports, according to CNN last year:

China currently has around 235 airports, but with many lacking the capacity to sustain the coming increase in passenger numbers and flights, government officials estimate around 450 airports will be needed across the country by 2035.

That’s the same year aviation analysts predict China will be handling a quarter of all the world’s air passengers.


February 27, 2020 at 08:06AM

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