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UK court stops Heathrow third runway plans on climate change grounds
A court has ruled plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport are illegal.
The British government’s plans to build a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport have been blocked by an appeals court on environmental grounds.
Judges at London’s Court of Appeal said the Heathrow expansion plans did not fit with the UK’s climate commitments signed at the Paris Agreement.
The British government has set a target of zero net emissions by 2050, something the increased aviation emissions from an airport expansion would make much more difficult.
The proposed third runway would have meant an additional 260,000 flights a year at Heathrow.
Campaigners celebrated the ruling as the BBC reported there were “whoops and jumps of jubilation from environmentalists outside the court room.”
“This is definitely the beginning of the end for the third runway,” said Rob Barnstone, of the No Third Runway Coalition.
“It is a very important ruling not just for Heathrow but for all projects. If the government thinks they are going to put forward big infrastructure projects and not take climate change seriously, well, they won’t be able to get away with it.”
The ruling, however, does not mean the fight is over.
The judges said that a third runway could still go ahead if the government can shows that it fits with the UK’s climate commitments.