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Government facing legal challenge over failure to review Energy National Policy Statements

Environmental activists have launched a legal challenge over the government’s failure to review the Energy National Policy Statements.

Claimants Dale Vince, chief executive of renewable energy supplier Ecotricity, journalist George Monbiot and the Good Law Project said the statements were issued in 2011 and continue to presume in favour of developments including those using fossil fuels.

Landmark Chambers, which acts for them, said the claim would challenge the assumption of authority by civil servants - rather than the elected Secretary of State - to decide that the energy statements will not be reviewed.

The claimants will argue that there has been a failure to review them in light of material changes of circumstances which were not considered in 2011 but which would have substantially affected their content had they been.

These include the amendment made in June 2019, to section 1 to the Climate Change Act 2008 so that the UK’s net carbon account for 2050 is now required to be 100% lower than the 1990 baseline.

The case had been crowd funded and has so far raised £80,288 towards a £100,000 target.

The claimants have published a response sent by the Treasury Solicitor to their solicitors Baker McKenzie which said: “Government is already actively considering whether it is appropriate to review all or parts of [this].

It added that it would be “premature for your clients to issue a claim…any claim issued prematurely will be resisted in the strongest possible terms”.

Mark Smulian

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