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Climate Activists Lose Legal Fight To Stop Heathrow’s Third Runway

heathrow airport protest

The Supreme Court overturns a previous Court of Appeal ruling in a case brought by Friends of the Earth and others.

Climate activists have lost a long-running legal battle to stop a third runway at Heathrow.

The Supreme Court has overturned a previous Court of Appeal ruling in a case brought by Friends of the Earth and others against Heathrow Airport.

The court was asked to consider if the government’s failure to take into account the UK’s climate commitments rendered the planned third runway unlawful.

Tim Crosland, of the campaign group Plan B, said the original decision by former transport secretary Chris Grayling to support the expansion made a “mockery” of the government’s commitment to show international leadership in the face of a climate emergency. […]

At a two-day appeal hearing in October, a panel of five Supreme Court justices heard the challenge brought by Heathrow Airport Ltd.

The government and developers have stepped back from the legal process, saying they do not support a further appeal of the case.

Lawyers for Heathrow Airport Ltd told the court that the firm, which owns and operates the airport in west London, still wishes to go ahead with the expansion project.

Reacting to the news, a spokesperson for Heathrow said it was the “right result for the country” and “will allow Global Britain to become a reality”.

“Only by expanding the UK’s hub airport can we connect all of Britain to all of the growing markets of the world, helping to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in every nation and region of our country,” they said.

“Demand for aviation will recover from COVID-19, and the additional capacity at an expanded Heathrow will allow Britain as a sovereign nation to compete for trade and win against our rivals in France and Germany.” […]

It is the latest in 17 years of wrangling over whether or not to build a third runway at Heathrow.

Prior to becoming prime minister, Boris Johnson had vowed to “lie down in front of bulldozers” to stop it from being built.

The decision is seen as hugely significant because it could influence other legal challenges on policies that aren’t seen as being compatible with tackling climate change.

Read more at Sky News

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