Carbon Budget Delivery Plan court case documents

In February 2024, Friends of the Earth took government to court a second time over its decarbonisation plan. Read the witness statements and internal government documents related to the court case.
  Published:  27 Feb 2024    |      2 minute read

Documents the government disclosed to Friends of the Earth as part of the court case.

  • Briefing to incoming minister on net zero (November 2022). This introductory briefing was prepared by government officials for the incoming net zero secretary, Grant Shapps MP, explaining his role in delivering the carbon budgets. It warned of “increasing delivery risks” for government climate policies (paragraph 9). For the sixth carbon budget, covering the years 2033 to 2037, it confirmed officials had either low or very low confidence in delivering approximately half of the emissions savings needed (Annex C).
  • First internal request to government departments on their climate policies (December 2022). This request was made by the department with overall responsibility for climate change. It asked other departments to report back on their individual climate policies, to feed into the overarching climate plan under preparation. Departments were asked to classify the delivery confidence for each of their policies, using a traffic light system. Green was to represent very high confidence, with the ratings going through to red for very low confidence (Table 3, pages 45 and 46).
  • The environment department's internal cover note when updating its policies (January 2023). This internal document from the environment department (Defra) provides concerning information as to the level of risk associated with its own policies.
  • The environment department's policy-level update (February 2023). In this document, Defra lists all its climate policies and, for each policy, rates delivery confidence using the traffic light system. Approximately half are either "red-amber" or "red", meaning delivery confidence is either low, or very low.
  • Second internal request to government departments on their climate policies (February 2023). This request was also made by the department with overall responsibility for climate change. It scrapped the traffic light system, and instead asked departments to draft "narrative" descriptions of delivery risk. It suggested stock wording that could used, including replacing red and red-amber ratings with the words "uncertain delivery risk".
  • Advice to minister when signing off plan (March 2023). This key document sets out all the information before the net zero secretary, Grant Shapps MP, when signing off on the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan. His officials explain why, in their view, the plan will enable the carbon budgets to be met. They list all government policies, along with the narrative descriptions of delivery risk. They do not include, and so the minister never sees, the traffic light ratings provided by government departments. 

Documents Friends of the Earth or its witnesses produced as part of the case.