A court in the United Kingdom blocked plans to install a third runway at London’s Heathrow International Airport, one of the largest airports in the world, following a challenge from environmentalists.
An appeals court on Thursday blocked the plans under grounds that it did not take climate commitments into account, according to BBC.
The judges ruled that a new runway could be built in the future so long as it fits the U.K.’s climate policy. The judges added that they would not hear appeals to the ruling.
The runway was disapproved because it did not follow the guidelines of the Paris climate agreement, which requires member countries to strive to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Opponents argue that there is not yet sufficient technology to lower airplane emissions, and enforcing such rulings could lead to a decline in the global economy.
“Imagine when we all start taking the Paris agreement into account,” Greta Thunberg, a teenage climate activist, told The Guardian.
Friends of the Earth, one of several parties who sued the against the plans to build the new runway, called the ruling “an historic and ground-breaking result for climate justice and for future generations.”
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it’s a sign of the country’s “commitment to the environment.”
“Airport expansion is core to boosting global connectivity. We also take seriously our commitment to the environment,” he tweeted. “This Govt won’t appeal today’s judgement given our manifesto makes clear any #Heathrow expansion will be industry led.”
Airport expansion is core to boosting global connectivity. We also take seriously our commitment to the environment. This Govt won’t appeal today’s judgement given our manifesto makes clear any #Heathrow expansion will be industry led.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) February 27, 2020