Energy and Environment

New Net Zero Ruling Threatens Economic Stability



Julian Jessop quoted in The Express

In the Media

Tom Clougherty quoted in The Telegraph

Andy Mayer writes for CapX

IEA Energy Analyst Andy Mayer has written for CapX discussing the Supreme Court’s 3-2 ruling to block Surrey Council’s decision to grant planning consent in 2019 to expand oil production on a site near Horley.

Andy wrote:

“The case is complex but boils down to points of law as they concern environmental impact assessments (EIA). These have been a feature of planning regulations since 1985, rooted in retained EU law, and require developments meeting regulated criteria (such as large oil and gas sites) to report the significant ‘direct and indirect effects of a project’ on, among other things, ‘soil, water, air, climate and landscape’.

“What this means over time has changed, notably including stronger language on climate change, but has never included end-use or scope 3 emissions (for example, if the oil is refined to road fuel) as an essential feature. This omission has now been rendered unlawful.

“When I reviewed this case a year ago, I suggested ruling in favour of the activists ‘would be absurd. Holding a producer to account for the downstream climate impact makes no sense’. It is self-evident that indirect impacts from planned activities must be reasonably connected to a project to be relevant to a development decision.

“The recent court decision attempts to persuade us otherwise by making oil extraction a special case.”

Read Andy’s full piece here or on the IEA Blog.

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