UK government faces High Court challenge against Biomass Strategy

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The UK government is facing a legal challenge over its Biomass Strategy in the High Court.
The Lifescape Project rewilding charity, backed by the Partnership for Policy Integrity, has filed an application for a judicial review for the Strategy, which was published in August this year.
The case has been filed in the Administrative Court on the grounds that the government’s decision to adopt the Biomass Strategy fails to properly analyse the extent to which forest biomass energy and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) can make the required contribution to net zero. This, it is argued, breaches its obligation under the Climate Change Act.
If successful, the court would declare that the decision to adopt the strategy should be terminated.
There are concerns over whether biomass is sustainably sourced, as well as questions surrounding the credentials of BECCS technologies.
The legal team, which includes solicitors from Leigh Day as well as barristers Jessica Boyd KC, Ava Mayer and Peter Lockley, have filed evidence, which they say demonstrates that the government’s own arguments contradict advice from its advisory panel brought together to support the Biomass Strategy.
Rowan Smith, a solicitor at Leigh Day, said: “In adopting the Biomass Strategy, it is argued that the Secretary of State failed to properly assure herself that the combustion of biomass will actually deliver the carbon savings claimed.
“Lifescape is urging the government to drop the inclusion of forest biomass from its future energy plans and look to use other, genuinely renewable ways to generate power.”

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