Rishi Sunak Boris Johnson Grant Shapps Britain Egypt UPS Target Manufacturing Action Gap Strategy Rishi Sunak Boris Johnson Grant Shapps Britain Egypt

Revealed: cabinet ministers warned of legal action over UK’s failure to tackle climate crisis

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Cabinet ministers have been warned by senior civil servants that they face court action because of their catastrophic failure to develop policies for tackling climate change, according to secret documents obtained by the Observer.The leaked briefings from senior mandarins – marked “official sensitive” and dated 20 February this year – make clear the government as a whole is way behind in spelling out how it will reach its net zero targets and comply with legal duties to save the planet.The restricted, highly sensitive documents are another severe embarrassment for Rishi Sunak, who originally planned to stay away from last November’s Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, but was shamed into attending after his predecessor but one, Boris Johnson, announced he was going.Sunak then declared that acting to cut carbon emissions was a moral duty “because if we do not act today, we will risk leaving an ever more desperate inheritance for our children”.Now, with just weeks to go before a crucial court deadline for the UK government to submit its latest climate plans, the damning leaked documents make clear the government is falling far short of its legal policy obligations to match its rhetoric with action.The documents say that as a result of evident lack of policy there is an increasing “legal risk” facing the secretary of state for energy security and net zero, Grant Shapps – who is held responsible under law for failing to act.At one point, officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) state that their own department’s failure to develop policies for cutting carbon emissions “increases the legal risk on the DESNZ (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero) SoS (Shapps) if the reduced savings cannot be

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