Victory for climate activists as Heathrow Airport expansion ruled illegal

A court ruling has declared the planned expansion of London’s Heathrow Airport unlawful on environmental grounds.

This announcement could sink the $27 billion project that has been dogged by decades of dispute and indecision and marks a victory for climate activists.

According to ABC, “an appeal court judge said a failure to take into account the Government’s commitments on climate change was ‘legally fatal’ to the plans to build a third runway at Europe’s busiest airport”.

The British Government announced that it would not appeal the ruling and the Department for Transport would now need to amend its policy statement to allow for the new runway to proceed.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps said: “We take seriously our commitments on the environment, clean air and reducing carbon emissions. We will carefully consider this complex judgment and set out our next steps in due course.”

Environmental activists such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, and the local authorities who oppose the expansion celebrated the ruling.

Will Rundle, Friends of the Earth’s head of legal said: “This judgment has exciting wider implications for keeping climate change at the heart of all planning decisions.”

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