The fight against climate change has intensified in recent years. Recent developments have been the English Court of Appeal, which on 27 February 2020 issued a judgment declaring illegal the plans for Heathrow`s third runway, which did not take into account the UK`s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement.  But the criticisms remained equally opposed. And they have assembled a broad coalition of skeptics – including a couple of politicians who usually disagree, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and his predecessor Boris Johnson. Johnson, now prime minister, promised one day to lie down in front of bulldozers to prevent construction of the third runway. The Secretary`s failure to consider the Paris Agreement was also considered a breach of the obligation to conduct a legitimate strategic environmental assessment that required the Secretary to consider non-legally competent international agreements relevant to the program or plan. The decision is another blow to an expansion campaign that has suffered a fair share of setbacks. A similar plan for a third runway at Heathrow, devised by the airport`s operator, Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited, formerly BAA, collapsed a decade ago due to considerable opposition from local residents. The UK government`s plan to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport has been declared illegal by a British court of appeal on the grounds that the plans do not take into account the country`s climate change commitments under the Paris Agreement. “Not much spin from Heathrow`s PR machine can mask the carbon logic of a new runway. Their plans would pollute as much as a small country.
Boris Johnson now had to get Heathrow out of its misery and cancel the third runway once and for all. No ifs, no buts, no lies, no about-faces. According to the Court of Appeal, the light of the decision is not compatible with the Paris Agreement The Court of Appeal did not overturn the Supreme Court`s rejection of other challenges related to air and noise pollution, transport and the multi-billion pound cost of the runway. De Kauwe said that if the Supreme Court approves the previous ruling, the government`s national airport policy statement will remain a “zombie policy” until the government verifies it. Without political will, expansion plans are unlikely, she said. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose constituency is close to Heathrow, has in the past been a sharp critic of a third runway. Lord Justice Lindblom said: “The Paris Agreement should have been taken into consideration by the Foreign Secretary. The national planning statement has not been established as required by law. “For the first time, a court has confirmed that the temperature target of the Paris Agreement is binding. This target was based on overwhelming evidence of the disastrous risk of achieving warming above 1.5°C. Nevertheless, some have argued that the goal is only ambitious, so governments may, in practice, ignore it. “The Court clarified that it is not for it to assess the political arguments, but only the lawfulness of the decision. He stressed that the decision does not take into account the fact that there would never be a lead, but only that the government has the possibility to reconsider the ANPS.
“Not much spin from Heathrow`s PR machine can mask the carbon logic of a new runway,” said John Sauven of Greenpeace UK.