Northern Ireland news

Judge rules against environmental consultant over emissions scheme claim

Brian Farmer, PA

An environmental consultant is considering an appeal after losing a High Court fight with ministers over a greenhouse gas emissions scheme.

Georgia Elliott-Smith took legal action against minsters in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over a joint decision to omit municipal waste incinerators from a scheme that replaced a European Union emissions trading scheme after Brexit.

She argued that the cap on the volume of emissions permitted under the emissions trading scheme was too high and was chosen for the “improper purpose” of ensuring that the UK’s exit from the EU would be smoother.

Ministers disputed the claim and a judge has ruled against Ms Elliott-Smith after a High Court hearing.

Mr Justice Dove, who is based in London, announced his decision in a ruling published today.

A spokeswoman for law firm Leigh Day, which represented Ms Elliott-Smith, said she was considering an appeal.

The judge said the challenge concerned the legality of a joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme as a replacement for the UK’s participation in the European Union Emissions Trading System.

He said the development of the scheme had been “underpinned by an evidence base” and said Ms Elliott-Smith’s application must be dismissed.

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