The Airports National Policy Statement is ruled illegal as a result of government failure to take account of its Paris Agreement commitments.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

In R (Plan B Earth and Others) v. Secretary of State for Transport and others, the Court of Appeal in England (the Court) heard an appeal in relation to a judicial review of the UK government’s Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS). The UK government had effectively provided its support for the construction of the third runway at Heathrow under the ANPS, which was the subject of appeal by a number of local authorities and environmental NGOs. In the first instance, these local authorities and NGOs were unsuccessful. However, the Court determined that, in making the ANPS, the Transport Minister had not taken into account the UK’s commitments in the UNFCCC Paris Agreement (the Paris Agreement). Therefore, the ANPS was considered illegal.