If our government breaks the law, it’s essential that people can hold it to account.
This is especially important when it comes to the environment where a decision, say to demolish a wood unlawfully, can cause damage that can never be undone.
In February 2017, the government changed the rules. As a result it’s now much more difficult for individuals and groups, such as Friends of the Earth, to challenge it in the courts.
Would you dare challenge the government if it could land you with a £90,000 bill? This happened to Mrs Pallikaropoulos when she challenged the Environment Agency over a decision about a local incinerator that had health implications for her community.
In a month’s time, Friends of the Earth along with the RSPB and ClientEarth is taking the government to court to challenge these changes. We’re determined this decision doesn’t go unopposed. Please can you chip in just £10 to help us protect your rights?
Your generous donations have helped us challenge bad environmental decisions in the past – all using this process.
Do you remember back in 2011 when the government suddenly decided to slash solar subsidies ahead of schedule – risking renewable energy projects and thousands of jobs?
Together we had that decision quashed in the courts.
The new rules mean that instead of knowing in advance how much a case could cost, the amount can be changed at any point. We’re worried that individuals and organisations might decide they just can’t afford the risk, meaning the government could get away with bad decision after bad decision.
With your help, we hope to overturn these changes.
We firmly believe that individuals, communities and public bodies should be able to challenge unlawful decisions that affect our environment. It’s in all our interest. The ability to do this should not be limited only to those who can afford it.
Thanks for your support,
Political, Legal and Planning Unit
Friends of the Earth
This is really good – FoE, RSPB and Client Earth working together to challenge the weakening of individuals’ access to justice. This is a subject discussed in several previous blogs here (Government attacks your right to environmental justice, 7 December 2015; Guest blog by Carol Day Fifty shades of Grayling, 14 March 2014 and UK fails to provide citizens with access to environmental rights, 12 June 2015).
To donate to the costs of the legal case by FoE, RSPB and Client Earth click here.