Energy and Environment

Vague laws worsen the energy crisis


In the Media

Julian Jessop quoted in The Times

In the Media

Julian Jessop quoted in The Financial Times

Andy Mayer writes for The Spectator

IEA Chief Operating Officer and Energy Analyst Andy Mayer has written for The Spectator discussing a Supreme Court case testing an interpretation of vague net zero laws that could spell the end of new fossil fuel developments.

Andy wrote:

“This is a long-running affair. Horse Hill was first test drilled in 2012 and permitted by Surrey County Council to expand to a commercial scale in 2019. This is the teeth of opposition from local campaigners, including the Weald Action Group, Friends of the Earth, and the litigant Sarah Finch. 

“The activists want to stop all domestic fossil fuel production, regardless of the harm this would do to our energy security and bills. To achieve this goal, they have been using judicial review, rooted in their interpretation of the Climate Act and a raft of complex planning, permitting and environmental protection laws, to delay and obstruct developments. They have been appealing and escalating at every turn. Consequently, four years into what should be a simple planning matter – to allow a legal business to expand – the case reaches the Supreme Court. No wonder the UK’s economic growth is anaemic. 

“The central legal point is whether Surrey County Council should have required the developer to report consumption (or Scope 3) emissions and test them against a retained EU Directive and the UK’s climate commitments. But this outcome would be absurd. Holding a producer to account for the downstream climate impact makes no sense.”

Read Andy’s full piece here.