The following has been posted by a member of Scientists for Global Responsibility:
Plan B (http://www.planb.earth/what-is-plan-b-.html ) is supporting the emergence of a networked, international movement of legal action to prevent catastrophic climate change. People all over the world are now heading to court to hold governments and corporates to account for Climate Change.
As part of this gathering, global movement Plan B and 11 UK citizens are suing the UK Government for failing to set a safe climate target (http://www.planb.earth/plan-b-v-uk.html ).
They need £35,000 to pursue this action and have already, via a crowd-funder, raised £25,335 with more than 500 people pledging their support. They have 11 days to raise just under £10,000 and they have a donor who will allow them to double all donations received between now and the end of New Year’s Day. If they can raise another £5,000 they’ll have made it.
“We need to persuade the Court that we have an arguable case, that merits a full hearing (it’s called a ‘permission hearing’). It could last anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Permission hearings are normally listed at 10:00 or 10:30hrs, but we won’t know the precise time or Court number until the afternoon of 19th March. So we’ve decided to stage a ‘solidarity’ event outside the Court between 09:00 and 10:00 hrs.
We can’t afford 3 Billboards, so we’re going to have just 2. The first will read:
“THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS ITS CLIMATE TARGET WON’T KEEP US SAFE”
“SO WHY DOESN’T IT CHANGE IT?”
The original UK 2050 target derived from Aubrey Meyer’s model of Contraction & Convergence (‘C & C’). Indeed in 2008, the year of the UK Climate Change Act, a cross-party group of British MPs nominated Aubrey for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.
Aubrey is also a musician and composer. We’re honoured that he has agreed to play the violin outside Court in solidarity with our legal action. It’s a way of making the point that our legal action aims to ensure the UK Climate Change Act fulfils its original purpose and intention, i.e. aligning UK emissions to the global climate obligation on the basis of transparent, equitable and replicable assumptions. There’ll also be music from ClimateKeys, and readings and statements from some of our supporters.
We couldn’t be doing this without you, and hope to see loads of you there!
Plan B + 11″
Posted on 29th March 2018:
We’ve got our next hearing date and it’s a good one! 4 July (Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand London).
It’s a historically resonant day to be running ground-breaking right to life arguments. On 4 July 1776 the US Declaration of Independence was signed, containing the first and arguably most important political articulation of the principle:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed … with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life … “
We’re listed for a full day’s hearing, and this time we really do expect to get a ruling on whether the case proceeds to full trial. But who knows! We were also really expecting that last week.
Update posted on 18th April 2018:
Update on Citizens sue Government for safe Climate Target
Today the future for us and our children is looking just a little bit brighter. And it’s thanks to you.
Yesterday Claire Perry, the Minister for Climate Change, committed to a review of the UK long-term climate targets in light of the Paris Agreement and a forthcoming report on the impacts of 1.5˚C warming.
She did so with an announcement at the meeting of the 53 Commonwealth Heads of Government taking place in London. This is precisely what we’ve been urging – the UK Government to show leadership and to use its diplomatic influence positively. The announcement was welcomed by, among others, the Frank Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of Fiji:
“I am encouraged by Britain’s undertaking to review its climate targets with a view to increasing ambition. The [targets] we all promised to make in the Paris agreement should be setting high standards for the rest of the world to follow.”
Only a few months ago the Government was adamant that no such review was necessary. There’s no question that the hundreds and hundreds of you supporting our legal action financially; the public messages of support; and the packed court-room on 20 March, have sent to the Government a powerful message – their future is our future and our future is theirs.
Of course the Government has not yet actually changed the target or brought it into line with the Paris Agreement. But under the Climate Change Act, a review from the Committee is the necessary first step. We’ll be discussing with our legal team precisely what this means for our legal action and will provide a further update soon.
But quite simply this is a hugely important and globally significant development, that would no have been possible without your support.
Plan B + 11
8th June 2018: court hearing set for 4th July.
Update 7th July 2018:
Judge postpones decision on our case
It was an amazing day last Wednesday. Thanks so much to all of you who came.
The court-room, the largest in the Royal Courts of Justice, was even more full this time. Dozens of people were sitting on the floor! We had a whole group of school-children who’d chosen to set off from Lowestoft at 5am to witness the demand for their future.
Jonathan Crow QC, Attorney General to HRH Prince of Wales, made compelling submissions on our behalf. Counsel for the Government was less focussed on addressing our main arguments, than emphasising that the Government has now committed to reviewing its targets. Jonathan pointed out that the Government has not actually yet commissioned a review, nor set terms of reference or a time-frame.
The argument seemed finely balanced. The judge, Mr Justice Supperstone, extended to court day to 5pm, and then postponed a decision. That’s unusual for a permission hearing, but reflects the gravity and significance of the issues.
Bindmans, our solicitors, expect us to have the ruling within a fortnight, but can’t be sure.
Here’s some coverage from the BBC: “Court action to save young from climate bill”
And here’s a Tweet from one of the journalists present in Court, describing how the case is putting ‘huge pressure’ on the government to increase its ambition:
Update 23rd July 2018:
Sadly, this campaign group lost the case. However, they will be appealing against the decision. The full story can be seen at:
Update 30th January 2019: