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Campaigners will file papers at the High Court this week with the aim to force the government to address significant “policy gaps” in meeting its net zero heat and buildings targets

A high-profile legal campaign group is seeking to take the UK Government to court over the adequacy of its net zero commitments including ambitions to curb emissions from buildings.

ClientEarth said it intends to launch a court action this week to sue the government over its decarbonisation commitments.  The campaign group claims the government’s own independent experts and data warns the UK is falling short of its 2050 legal targets to have fully cut or offset national carbon emissions.

The legal action is expected to be filed at the High Court in order to force the government to address what ClientEarth calls “huge policy gaps” that risk undermining the UK’s net zero targets. A particular concern raised by the campaign group are fears about the limited progress to deliver lower carbon heating and improve the efficiency of millions of UK homes.

Sam Hunter Jones, a senior lawyer with ClientEarth argued that the UK’s official emissions projections for 2037 were presently more than double the targets that the government is legally committed to meet.

Mr Hunter Jones said, “The government is also relying heavily on unproven technologies whilst overlooking viable current solutions that would have immediate impact, including solutions recommended by its own advisors, the Climate Change Committee (CCC).”

“In addition to this, the government’s failure to deliver real climate action is resulting in higher bills for people. Soaring energy bills for many UK households is, in part, because of the over-reliance on fossil fuels for heating and poor levels of insulation across the country. Yet new plans to roll-out low carbon heating and home insulation are well below the levels advised by the CCC. This needs to be addressed.”

A spokesperson for ClientEarth said there was no timeline for when the court would be expected to take a decision on whether to proceed with the case.

One major aim of the proposed legal action would be to ensure the government fulfilled its legal obligations under the 2008 Climate Change Act.

This would require the secretary of state to prepare and introduce stricter policies and proposals to enable its different legal carbon budget targets can be met on schedule.

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