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Transport Action Network v. Secretary of State for Transport (on National Policy Statement)

Jurisdiction: High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division

Principle law(s): Climate Change Act

Side A: Transport Action Network (Ngo)

Side B: Secretary of State for Transport (Government)

Core objectives: Whether the UK government's national policy statement on road building must be reassessed in light of new, more ambitious climate targets

On December 11, 2020, Transport Action Network, an environmental advocacy NGO, filed a suit arguing that the UK government's National Policy Statement on National Networks must be reassessed in light of more ambitious climate targets. The policy statement, made in 2014, set the strategy for the UK's road building programme. According to news reports, TAN alleges that significant changes to climate policy since 2014, including legally binding targets to reach a net zero carbon economy by 2050, necessitate a review of the policy. 

On February 4, 2021, the initial case was stayed by the High Court until March 2021 following an announcement that the government would review its decision not to reassess the policy. Initially, a further decision was made in March 2021 not to review the policy, so the original claim was withdrawn and a further challenge brought. Subsequently, in July 2021 the Secretary of State announced that a review of the policy would take place, to be completed by spring 2023. The policy remains in force while the review is ongoing. Transport Action Network states on its website that it is now considering further legal action. On March 9, 2022, the court refused permission for the claim to go to a full hearing.

Case documents

Related laws and policies
  • GBR flag This law implements United Kingdom legislation
    Climate Change Act

    Passed in 2008 Legislative

    The Act provides a long-term framework to improve carbon management, to help the transition to a low carbon economy, encourage investment in low carbon goods and provide an international signal. The Act establishes a legally binding target for the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net z...

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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