United Kingdom

Loach et al v OGA ("Paid to Pollute case")

Jurisdiction: High Court

Principle law(s): Energy Act 2016

Side A: Mikaela Loach, Kairin van Sweeden and Jeremy Cox (Individual)

Side B: Oil and Gas Authority; Secretary of State for BEIS (Government)

Core objectives:

Whether the UK Oil and Gas Authority's new strategy is unlawful

On 12th May 2021, climate campaigners Mikaela Loach, Kairin van Sweeden and Jeremy Cox filed judicial review proceedings against the Uk Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy over the new strategy for the OGA. The strategy was laid before parliament in December 2020 and came into force in February 2021 and gives the OGA a dual mandate to both “secure that the maximum value of economically recoverable petroleum is recovered from the strata beneath relevant UK waters” and, in doing so, “to take appropriate steps to assist the Secretary of State in meeting the net zero target.” The strategy sets out plans to support ongoing efforts to exploit North Sea oil and gas reserves.

The claimants argue that such plans are irrational and inconsistent with the UK Government’s Net Zero target because they will lead to more oil and gas being extracted than would otherwise be the case.

According to a press release by the claimants, on July 28th 2021 the High Court "found that the claimants had “presented an arguable case” which was “in the public interest”, and that the judicial review claim has “sufficient merit to grant permission” to proceed to a full hearing."

Related laws and policies
  • This law implements United Kingdom legislation
    Energy Act 2016

    Passed in 2016 Legislative

    The Energy Act 2016 formally establishes the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), sets its regulatory powers, and regulates onshore wind power. It supersedes the previous versions of the Energy Act. The OGA is set up to regulate the oil and gas sector. A new strategy for the OGA was laid before parliamen...

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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