Media reaction: 01 March 2024

UK Government gives €700m backing to INEOS plastic plant in Belgium - lawyers react

Lawyers at ClientEarth have reacted after it was revealed the UK government provided €700 million in backing to a gas-fed plastics facility in the Port of Antwerp – as it faces legal action over its failures to put in place plans to meet its own climate targets.

ClientEarth is currently engaged in a court case to block the “unjustifiable” plant in Antwerp over its climate and environmental threats, and another to force the UK Government to put the country on track to meeting its legally-binding carbon budgets.

ClientEarth lawyer Sam Hunter Jones said: “Only last week we were in court challenging the UK Government for its failure to put in place policies to meet its own binding emissions targets. It’s now been revealed that the government is again undermining climate action abroad, this time by providing over half a billion pounds in support for a vast fossil fuel project in Antwerp that will produce plastics on an unprecedented scale.”

This week, research emerged showing once again the scale of plastic pollution – every placenta tested in a study contained microplastics.

Hunter Jones said: “We need real action, both on climate and on plastics – banning plastic straws is just a distraction when you’re backing Europe’s biggest plastic facility, which will result in decades of irreversible pollution.”


About ClientEarth

ClientEarth is a non-profit organisation that uses the law to create systemic change that protects the Earth for – and with – its inhabitants. We are tackling climate change, protecting nature and stopping pollution, with partners and citizens around the globe. We hold industry and governments to account, and defend everyone’s right to a healthy world. From our offices in Europe, Asia and the USA we shape, implement and enforce the law, to build a future for our planet in which people and nature can thrive together.