Global Feedback granted permission to challenge Government’s Food Strategy

On 16 June 2023, the Court of Appeal (Lindblom LJ, Singh LJ and Simler LJ) granted permission to Global Feedback in respect of their judicial review challenge to the Government’s Food Strategy.

Global Feedback is a campaigning organisation concerned with a sustainable food system. Their claim concerned the Government’s failure to adopt measures to reduce meat and dairy production and consumption, which the Climate Change Committee (“CCC”) had said are essential to meet the carbon budgets and the Net Zero target.  

The Court of Appeal accepted that there are reasonable prospects of arguing that the Secretary of State failed to discharge their statutory obligations under the Climate Change Act 2008 (“CCA 2008”) and to have cogent reasons for departing from the advice of the CCC, the expert national body tasked with advising on climate change.  

The case turns on whether s 13 of the CCA 2008 was engaged when the Government adopted the Food Strategy. This duty requires the Government to prepare policies and proposals to enable the carbon budgets to be met. The Claimant argues that the obligation must apply because it is continuing[1] and the Net Zero Strategy, published in October 2021, expressly referred to the Food Strategy, which was, at that time, an inchoate policy.   

Lindblom LJ observed that the case raises “questions of considerable general importance.” Indeed, it is relevant to a challenge brought in relation to the Jet Zero Strategy; and more generally, how, legally, the issue of climate change should be addressed in this country.  

Given the importance of the case, the claim has been reserved to the Court of Appeal and it will be heard in the Autumn. 

Steph David acts for the Claimant, instructed by Rowan Smith of Leigh Day and led by David Wolfe KC. She is also acting, alongside the same legal team, for the Claimant in the Jet Zero case.   

The claim has been reported in the media, here.

[1] As accepted in the Net Zero case, Friends of the Earth (and others) v SSBEIS [2022] EWHC 1841 (Admin) in which Catherine Dobson was instructed for the successful Claimant.