The Court of Appeal has scheduled a date for a legal challenge about the climate impact of oil production at the Horse Hill well site in Surrey.
At a hearing in November 2021, climate campaigner Sarah Finch will ask the court to decide whether Surrey County Council should have taken account of greenhouse gas emissions from burning oil produced at the site.
It is the latest stage in opposition to the council’s decision in September 2019 to grant planning permission at Horse Hill for four new oil wells and 20 years of production.
The appeal hearing is expected to last a day-and-a-half and is due to begin on Tuesday 16 November 2021.
DrillOrDrop has previously reported that Ms Finch’s case centres on what should have been included in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) – a detailed study that accompanied the planning application.
The council said the EIA should consider only the direct emissions from producing the oil. But Ms Finch said it should also assess the indirect emissions from using the oil.
Her case was dismissed by the High Court in December 2020. But Lord Justice Lewison said the appeal should be heard because the argument had “far-reaching ramifications” and greenhouse gas emissions were a matter of “considerable public concern”.
If Ms Finch wins the argument, there could be far-reaching repercussions for carbon-intensive industries.
Friends of the Earth will be submitting arguments on paper in support of Ms Finch’s case.