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UK Supreme Court: Planned oil project illegal

UK Supreme Court: Planned oil project illegal

A new ruling in Great Britain could have major consequences for new fossil fuel projects. The High Court has ruled that Surrey County Council acted unlawfully when it granted planning permission for oil production at Horse Hill without considering the climate impact when the oil is inevitably burned.

Surrey County Council previously approved planning permission for oil drilling at Horse Hill near Gatwick Airport. It was Sarah Finch, who lives in Surrey, on behalf of the Weld Action Group, who appealed against the conviction and the case was taken to the High Court.

This is a welcome step towards a secure and just future. 'Business as usual' may still be an option for oil and gas companies, but it will be more difficult for planning authorities to allow new exploitation of fossil fuels – in the Weald, the North Sea or elsewhere – during their actual climate. The impact is clear to allSarah says in a pinch Press release From the Weald Action Group.

Sarah Finch during a demonstration outside the Supreme Court. Photo: Welt Action Team

The UK government has committed by law to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions to reach net zero by 2050. Friends of the Earth and other ecosystems believes that Fossil fuel projects like Horse Hill undermine these promises.

The landscape surrounding the granting of planning permission for the extraction of fossil fuels has fundamentally changed. Going forward, it will be more difficult for those pursuing fossil fuel extraction projects to obtain permits for their projects. This is what the Supreme Court decision says: “The whole purpose of extracting fossil fuels is to make hydrocarbons available for burning.” Friends of the Earth says Press release Supreme Court's judgment in the Horse Hill case.