Supreme Court ruling on emissions is 'fatuous', says Jacob Rees-Mogg

Supreme Court ruling on emissions is 'fatuous', says Jacob Rees-Mogg
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 20/06/2024

- 20:48

Sir Jacob Rees Mogg has said he is ‘concerned’ that the UK’s courts are becoming increasingly political, following the decision of the Supreme Court that emissions from burning fossil fuels must be considered when approving new drilling sites.

Speaking on GB News Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “It's a very unfortunate ruling, it seems to me to be a very political ruling. It's interesting that the lower courts, the High Court and the Court of Appeal, didn't take this route. They didn't think you should take [emissions] into account.

“And I'm deeply concerned that the Supreme Court is trying to make energy policy rather than simply interpret what planning law is meant to say, and therefore has deviated from what everyone thought the law was before.

“And this could potentially constrain our ability to use our own resources. It won't really reduce global emissions, it will simply mean other countries make the money, not the United Kingdom.

“I think if you look at how this judgement has come about, it's a 3-2 ruling in the Supreme Court so it's a very narrow margin in the Supreme Court when the Appeal Court and the High Court found in the other direction.

“I am concerned that you see the courts, and we saw this over the small boats, becoming increasingly political. So this is the Baroness Haleisation aviation of the Supreme Court. And it fascinates me that since she's resumed her seat in the House of Lords she constantly, when she bothered to turn up to vote, voted against the government.

“There is a left wingery, I fear, that is abroad amongst the judiciary and this is moving now into the climate area, and can potentially make people cold and poor, which seems to me highly undesirable.

“The Climate Change Act was passed when the Labour Party was in office and I hadn't been elected to parliament at that point. I think Gordon Brown was Prime Minister at that point and I wasn't an MPs sp I can't take the blame for the Climate Change Act.

“But I think it's really important that we revisit the commitments we've made on the Climate Change Act. Other countries aren't doing this. We're 1% of global emissions and we are making this nation poorer, trying to achieve something that without other countries doing it simply won't happen.

“And this judgement is in its way, fatuous because it won't change emissions, it will merely change the ease of us using our own resources. Other countries will still exploit their resources whilst we'll find it harder to use ours. And I think that's deeply unfortunate and I think it is a pity that the Supreme Court decided to move away from the earlier and lower courts.

“I was very keen to ensure that more licences were given in the North Sea and we worked very carefully to make sure that was done in a way that wasn't subject to legal challenge.

“There was an incinerator plant that I would have liked to have given approval for, but I wasn't allowed to because of the risk of judicial review, mainly dependent upon the common seal.

“And the thing about the common seal is it's common, and it wasn't going to be at very great risk. But nonetheless, we have got ourselves in a situation where ministerial discretion is consistently being undermined and I think ultimately we want democratic accountable control.

“Now you're right to say a lot of the problem with this is in the legislation, and I would be keen to see a change in legislation so that we can exploit our own resources more. We need to ensure the United Kingdom is competitive. That's the way we're going to improve the standard of living, the condition of the British people that they can be more prosperous.”


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