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UK Government to drop Net Zero Strategy appeal

October 2022
Michael Salau, Priya Thakrar and Rhia Gould

In July 2022, the High Court ruled that the UK government’s Net Zero Strategy (“NZS”) breached its obligations under the Climate Change Act 2008 (“CCA”).

This case saw environmental groups, ClientEarth and Friends of the Earth UK, the Good Law Project (a non-profit organisation) and the environmental campaigner, Jo Wheatley successfully argue that the government’s NZS failed to create a clear roadmap to a sustainable future and was in breach of sections 13 and 14 of the CCA. We reported on this important decision in two previous articles found here: Link 1, Link 2.

Whilst the government had applied for permission to appeal the High Court ruling, on 13 October 2022, it confirmed in a letter to the High Court that it would not be pursuing its appeal. The government will have until March 2023 to update its NZS and provide more information on how its policies will achieve the targets set out in the CCA.


The government’s decision not to appeal the High Court’s judgment will be welcome news for environmentalists. The government will now have to update its climate strategy to include a quantified assessment of how its policies will achieve climate targets in practice and comply with July’s landmark judgement.

It remains to be seen how the government will change its NZS to ensure that the UK will be in a position to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050. However, interested parties will be following updates closely, particularly in the context of rising energy prices and growing concerns about the cost-of-living crisis.

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