Lawyer watch – they are coming after you

3rd Sep 2018


The threat of legal action is usually enough to concentrate the mind. I’m warning you all now, that a bunch of lawyers – Client Earth – are coming after you. You may have heard of this charity, it is the one that has successfully taken the UK Government to court over poor air quality. A few weeks ago, they published opinion poll findings that suggest their next target is climate change and carbon emissions.

Aside from the key finding – that the majority of UK residents favour legal action to tackle climate change (who would have thought a bunch of lawyers would support that?). They also claimed that the costs of adaptation that the UK needs to make should be met by “fossil fuel companies” (not sure how they define this). Even the costs of extreme weather events, they use examples from this summer, should be paid by “fossil fuel companies”.

Now I think the UK gas industry, its networks, supply chain and end appliance manufacturers are playing a key role in decarbonisation. Working up options including biogas; hydrogen blending to full hydrogen conversion would appear to be clear evidence in the defence of our work. Clearly either Client Earth don’t know about this work, or they have dismissed it. I suspect the former. But despite all the work that we are doing, complacency could prove to be a costly error.

I’ll leave aside all the obvious questions that these findings pose – and let you read them at this link:- 

But given what Client Earth have been doing on air quality, there is a clear warning that their focus is going to move onto carbon emissions. We need to shout about our achievements; inform and educate our legal friends or face expensive court cases defending our actions.