Carbon emissions from England’s roads plan ‘100 times greater than government claims’ | Greenhouse gas emissions | The Guardian (April 2021)
Gwyn Topham Tue 6 Apr 2021
Carbon emissions from England’s planned £27bn roadbuilding programme will be about 100 times greater than the government has stated, according to expert witnesses in a court challenge.
Environmental campaigners are seeking a judicial review of the second roads investment strategy (RIS2), which was described by ministers when launched as “the largest ever investment in English strategic roads”, paying for 4,000 miles of road and including such schemes as the Lower Thames Crossing and the Stonehenge tunnel.
Lawyers for Transport Action Network (TAN) claim that the strategy is incompatible with climate crisis commitments. Government lawyers have argued that the additional net greenhouse gases from the roadbuilding are de minimis, or too small to be material.
Phil Goodwin, emeritus professor of transport policy at UCL, said in a deposition that “the total emissions of carbon from RIS2 schemes reported by Highways England in its separate scheme appraisals give a number which is roundly 100 times greater than that suggested by DfT witnesses”.