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Press release: 10 February 2021
ClientEarth lawyers have welcomed media reports that Drax Power will scrap its plans to build a 3.6GW gas plant in North Yorkshire.
ClientEarth mounted a legal challenge to the Government’s decision to allow the project to go ahead, a process which ended with a Court of Appeal ruling last month.
ClientEarth lawyer Sam Hunter Jones said:
“Drax scrapping its plans to build what would have been Europe’s largest gas plant would be a massive win for the UK and its net zero goals.
“Over its lifetime, the plant would have risked the UK’s net zero target, and could have locked in 15 years of subsidies or otherwise left the public picking up the tab if it was forced to shut early.
“With the global community looking to the UK for leadership this year, the Government now needs to ensure every single one of its planning decisions are in line with net zero, and to close the yawning gap between its carbon promises and the reality.
“The Court of Appeal confirmed last month that in considering new major energy projects, the Government can refuse permission on climate change grounds.
“The upcoming policy review is the time for the Government to make clear that this kind of project will no longer be approved.
“Drax must also explain how the rest of its business squares with a sustainable net zero future, given the serious concerns about the climate and biodiversity impact of burning huge volumes of wood for biomass energy at Selby.”
ClientEarth is a charity that uses the power of the law to protect people and the planet. We are international lawyers finding practical solutions for the world’s biggest environmental challenges. We are fighting climate change, protecting oceans and wildlife, making forest governance stronger, greening energy, making business more responsible and pushing for government transparency. We believe the law is a tool for positive change. From our offices in London, Brussels, Warsaw, Berlin and Beijing, we work on laws throughout their lifetime, from the earliest stages to implementation. And when those laws are broken, we go to court to enforce them.