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Local environmentalist Georgia Elliott-Smith is in court this Wednesday and Thursday - the High Court, no less - arguing that the government's new carbon trading scheme is in contravention of the Climate Change Act. One of the grounds that she bases her case on relates to the omission of some types of greenhouse gas emissions from the scheme, in particular energy-from-waste plants - ie waste incinerators, such as the huge plant planned to replace the existing Edmonton Incinerator, which would be pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at a rate of 700,000 tonnes a year throughout its planned 50-year life. Environmentalists regard this as totally incompatible with the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions to stave off climate catastrophe.

Georgia's Crowd Justice crowdfunding appeal to cover the cost of the case is continuing and she has recently added an update to the web page - see below.

High court hearing this week!

I can't believe the day is almost here - on Weds 14th and Thurs 15th April, the full high court hearing takes place for my challenge to Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and the ministers of the four devolved administrations.

My challenge centres on two key grounds: 

1) that the carbon allowances permitted within the new UK emissions trading scheme are way above current business-as-usual levels. To put this into context, available allowances in the ETS are 150Mt, BAU emissions in 2019 were 120Mt. This means it could take NINE YEARS before industry is required to reduce carbon emissions by a single gram. I say this is illegal because the Paris Agreement requires governments to reduce carbon emissions as quickly as possible. The government state they set the level so high to smooth the UK's exit from the EU - I believe this is an illegal use of the Climate Change Act, whose purpose is soley to reduce greenhouse gases.

2) that the UK ETS is ineffective because it omits major polluters such as waste incineration. 'Energy from waste' plants currently emit the same amount of CO2 as the whole of Manchester & Birmingham every year and this is set to more than double in coming years. I believe the government must create a scheme that includes all major emitters and requires them to both account accurately for their emissions and be subject to the only regulation currently in place to force emissions reductions.

Since the hearing will be held online, anyone is free to attend. You can obtain the Teams link by emailing quoting court reference CO/3093/2020. Remember that microphones & cameras must be switched off and recording any part of the proceedings is not allowed.

Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to the crowd-funding campaign and shared the link on social media. There's no way I could have done this without you.

Keep your fingers crossed & I hope to see you there!

Source: www.crowdjustice.com/case/make-incineration-polluters-pay/

Links

Crowdfunding page

Petition: Introduce charges on carbon emissions to tackle climate crisis and air pollution

Zero Carbon Campaign

Northwich campaigner to take UK government to High Court (Northwich Guardian 9 December 2020)

HM Government legally challenged on incineration (Palmers Green Community 11 August 2020)

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