Press release: 22 May 2020

ClientEarth responds to High Court judgment on Drax gas plant approval challenge

ClientEarth in-house lawyers expressed disappointment at today’s High Court judgment, which rejected their arguments against a UK Government decision approving what would be Europe’s largest gas plant.

The Court ruled that former Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Andrea Leadsom, did not act unlawfully in granting permission for Drax Power’s plans to build four combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT) at its Selby Power plant in North Yorkshire.

ClientEarth in-house lawyer Sam Hunter Jones said:

“We’re very dissatisfied by today’s judgment, rejecting our arguments against the lawfulness of the Government’s decision and of its approach to assessing the project’s carbon lock in risk. We will consider an appeal.”

At the planning inquiry, ClientEarth’s in-house lawyers had argued that the Drax project risked undermining the UK’s efforts to cut carbon emissions and build a more sustainable energy sector. The UK Planning Inspectorate agreed, recommending the project be refused on climate grounds.


About ClientEarth

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.