The pressure group that successfully challenged the government’s plans to expand Heathrow have now launched a formal challenge against the government’s plans for a green recovery.
The climate campaigners, Plan B, claim that the plans are insufficient and ‘clearly unlawful’ when viewed in the context of the country’s responsibility to reduce carbon emissions.
The group have sent a ‘pre-action’ letter to Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak claiming that the historic opportunity to avoid a catastrophe is passing the government by.
Director of Plan B, Tim Crosland, said: “The government can either follow the scientific and economic advice and take a decisive step towards a cleaner, fairer and more sustainable economy, creating vast number of new jobs – or it can ignore that advice by prioritising its corporate sponsors and locking us into the path to climate breakdown and a future that is grim beyond words.
“It seems that Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings are set on choosing the second option, but we can’t let that happen.”
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has allocated £3bn towards ‘green spending’ which focuses mainly on upgrading energy efficiency measures in public buildings and homes.
The plan came under fire from green groups, with Plan B highlighting the fact that the sum pledged to the initiative paled in comparison to the billions being pumped into airlines and carmakers to help their industries recover.
Additionally, the amount set aside by the UK government for green projects was far less than the amounts allocated by other countries in Europe.
Plan B has given the government until 4 August to respond, saying: “The proposed approach is quite clearly unlawful…it is no more than a fig leaf for the government’s new deal for polluters.”
The green campaign group sent an initial letter to the government earlier this month. The government did not respond to that letter, but a spokesperson said that the government “continued to take our environmental responsibilities seriously and remain committed to meeting our climate change and wider environmental targets, including net zero [emissions] by 2050.”
Environmental campaigners argue that the plans put forward for the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 lockdown do not account for the country’s responsibilities under the 2015 Paris agreement, nor the government’s own target of net zero emissions by 2050.
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