Heathrow challenges court decision on climate change

Friends of the Earth and others won a landmark court case in February 2020 on the grounds of climate change, but Heathrow has shamefully appealed the decision.

The Appeal Court judges ruled that the National Policy Statement (NPS) – which promotes a third runway at Heathrow – was unlawful. The NPS is unlawful because it has failed to take proper account of the UK’s commitments on climate change, specifically the commitment made under the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rises to well below 2 degrees.

However, Heathrow Airport has now (7th May) been given permission by the Supreme Court to challenge this Court of Appeal’s decision. The Government indicated at the time that it would not be appealing the judgment, leaving Heathrow to bring the challenge alone.

At a time when the catastrophic climate change is now recognised as a massive threat to us all and to our planet, the appeal from Heathrow is shocking. It seems that Heathrow and the aviation industry have no real intent to address the issue of climate change. Heathrow’s response is to issue misleading statements about how the problem can be solved by alternative fuels, planting trees or using electric planes – which it can’t. Meanwhile, trying to sabotage action on climate change through the courts.

Heathrow Airport and their CEO, John Holland-Kaye, need to search their collective conscience. They will rightly be branded as public enemies and climate criminals if they continue this reckless approach to our climate and our future.