Climate Change

January 16th, 2023 by James Goudie KC

Only Treaties which have been incorporated into domestic law give rise to legally enforceable rights. The 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement has not been incorporated into domestic law. The Court of Appeal in R (Friends of the Earth) v Secretaries of State (2023) EWCA 14 holds that it was a tenable interpretation of the Treaty that approval of an investment in a liquefied natural gas project was aligned with the UK’s obligations under the Treaty. On the basis that questions of interpretation of an unincorporated Treaty are for the Executive to determine, the Court holds that a decision-maker cannot be challenged when they adopt a tenable view on a point of unincorporated international law.

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