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Celeste Hicks

This chapter analyses the background to the signing of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change by almost every nation on Earth. It traces the creation of the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008, which has been called one of the world’s leading legislative attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the 2008 Planning Act which formed the backbone of the Heathrow legal challenge. This story shows the complexity of the approach taken by campaigning lawyers. The chapter also introduces the matter of why aviation’s international nature means that the industry has escaped regulation of its CO2 emissions at the domestic level. It also explores the poorly understood ‘non-CO2 emissions’ from aviation.

in Expansion rebellion
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Will there be a third runway at Heathrow?
Celeste Hicks

This chapter sums up the main arguments of the book, analysing the strength of the judicial review case built on the Paris Agreement. It asks whether government plans to tackle aviation emissions with technological advances can deliver the CO2 reductions we need in time. It also seeks to answer the critical question whether Heathrow Airport will ever build a third runway.

in Expansion rebellion
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Celeste Hicks

Heathrow Airport and the airline industry believe it is possible to build a third runway and increase passenger numbers as well as ensuring that emissions from aviation decline dramatically in line with the requirements of the Paris Agreement. However the government’s climate advisers, the Climate Change Committee, say that there should no new airport capacity in the UK until aviation decarbonises. What steps can be taken to reduce the climate impact of flying? Will it be enough to meet the UK’s obligations under the Paris Agreement? This chapter explores some of the measures and new technologies which have been suggested.

in Expansion rebellion
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Using the law to fight a runway and save the planet
Author: Celeste Hicks

Can the UK expand Heathrow Airport, bringing in an extra 700 planes a day, and still stay within ambitious carbon budgets? One legal case sought to answer this question. Campaigning lawyers argued that plans for a third runway at one of the world’s busiest airports would jeopardise the UK’s ability to meet its commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. The judicial review was the first time the ambitious 1.5°C temperature limit had been tested in court. In February 2020 the campaigners won at the Court of Appeal, but in December that year the Supreme Court threw out that judgment. This book traces the dramatic story of how the case was prepared at a time that the UK sought to project itself as a climate leader. An analysis of its legal significance as the UK strives for Net Zero, the book asks why international aviation has for so long avoided meaningful restrictions on its greenhouse gas emissions.

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Celeste Hicks

Why does airport expansion generate such a heated debate? Heathrow Airport has long been criticised for noise, pollution and over-flying much of south and west London, but now the crucial question of aviation’s contribution to dangerous climate breakdown is on the table. Since the UK has committed to the 2015 Paris Agreement and its ambitious 1.5°C temperature limit, how can a third runway be reconciled with emissions reduction obligations?

in Expansion rebellion
Celeste Hicks

Although the campaigners ultimately lost at the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal victory inspired and influenced other campaigners who were trying similar challenges against other national infrastructure projects on climate grounds. This chapter examines cases by Good Law Project into the Energy NPS, as well as cases against Drax power station, HS2 and road building plans. The chapter seeks to situate the Court of Appeal judgment, as the UK moved from a commitment to 80% reductions on CO2 emissions to Net Zero. It evaluates the business case for a third runway in the light of the coronavirus pandemic and a change in global travel patterns, and asks whether, in the new Net Zero world, Heathrow Airport will ever achieve its coveted development consent order.

in Expansion rebellion
Celeste Hicks

When Parliament passed the ANPS, Friends of the Earth and Plan B Earth teamed up with other campaigners to launch a judicial review into the decision. They argued that the new runway would jeopardise the UK’s ability to achieve its greenhouse gas emission-reduction targets, and that the Paris Agreement had not been considered by the Secretary of State when designating the ANPS. This chapter traces the story of the legal challenge, unpacking the arguments. It shows how the case occurred at a time of change in the UK public’s understanding of climate change, as Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future attracted thousands of people demonstrating for radical action. The judgment in the High Court came on the day Parliament declared a climate emergency and shortly before the UK committed to reaching Net Zero by 2050. The chapter documents the dramatic win in the Court of Appeal in 2020, just before COVID-19 devastated the international aviation industry, and explains and analyses why the Supreme Court overturned that judgment. It introduces the work of the UK’s Climate Change Committee on possible pathways for decarbonising aviation, and analyses whether the expansion plans can ever be compatible with reaching Net Zero emissions by 2050.

in Expansion rebellion
Celeste Hicks

The plans to expand Heathrow Airport are colossal, involving building a tunnel through which to run the M25, rerouting major roads, relocating a waste facility, building a new terminal and demolishing almost 800 homes. But this is not the first time a third runway has been proposed. In 2010 a vocal campaign succeeded in convincing the new coalition government to scrap the plans. This chapter tells the story of the third runway which has haunted west London communities for twenty years. It explores how the Airports Commission justified support for a third runway through economic and strategic benefits. The Commission attempted to show how an increase in traffic at the airport could be compatible with the UK’s legal obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

in Expansion rebellion
Resilience and the Language of Compassion
Diego I. Meza

Internal forced displacement is a current social problem in Colombia. Although this phenomenon has been studied extensively, the purpose of this article is to analyse the administration of this crisis under the grille interprétative of humanitarian government during the presidential term of Juan Manuel Santos (2010–18). My argument is that humanitarian government functions as a biopolitical assembly that amalgamates two elements: resilience – a fundamental element of psychosocial attention to the displaced – and the language of compassion used publicly by President Santos. Finally, I will try to underline that this logic operates as a condition of possibility to normalise this phenomenon and hide the functioning of the violence that unequally distributes the compassion between lives considered valuable and those whose lives and problems simply appear to be not valuable at all.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Expanding Gender Norms to Marriage Drivers Facing Boys and Men in South Sudan
Michelle Lokot, Lisa DiPangrazio, Dorcas Acen, Veronica Gatpan, and Ronald Apunyo

In South Sudan, child marriage is often positioned as a cultural practice tied to conflict and displacement as well as gender norms affirming that girls should marry. Based on findings of a multi-sectoral gender assessment conducted by Save the Children in Rumbek, Torit, Malualkon, Bor and Kapoeta, our paper draws attention to multiple, connected drivers of child marriage. Drawing specifically on findings related to child marriage, we suggest the need to understand child marriage in the context of cycles of poverty and inter-clan fighting. In many communities, cattle form the basis for the ‘bride price’, driving cattle raiding, due to pressure on males to marry. The ability to pay the bride price may be an indicator of manhood in some pastoralist communities of South Sudan. We suggest that while humanitarian interventions tend to fixate on empowering girls or addressing gender norms girls face, less attention is placed on the ‘demand side’ of child marriage – on the gender norms pushing boys and men to marry girls. Our paper emphasises the importance of tackling norms from both the perspective of girls as well as boys and men within a broader context of improving livelihoods in South Sudan.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs