Plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport have been ruled unlawful as the government failed to consider the UK’s Paris Agreement commitments.

Today’s historic judgement is the first ever to be based on the Paris Agreement, and states that commitments to limit global warming to 1.5oC cannot be ignored when planning major infrastructure projects.

Heathrow is already one of the busiest airports in the world, with 80 million passengers passing through each year. The controversial expansion was expected to cost £14 billion and bring an additional 700 planes each day, significantly increasing the associated carbon emissions.

Tim Crossland, Director of Plan B which brought the challenge said:

“It would have been hard to imagine this outcome even a couple of years ago, but as the scale and impacts of the ecological crisis become clearer, with people dying and being displaced in the UK and around the world, it’s vital we reject the politics of division and unite in adversity.

 

This is an important moment for all of us and for our young people in particular. Some sanity is finally prevailing. It’s now clear that our governments can’t keep claiming commitment to the Paris Agreement, while simultaneously taking actions that blatantly contradict it.”

In June last year, the UK became the first economy in the world to pass laws designed to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Heathrow expansion ruled illegal over climate change