While Heathrow officials vowed to keep the battle going, the unified front of climate campaigners that brought the case to the court, with support from various local councils and London Mayor Sadiq Kahn, found the decision to be worthy of celebration. Kahn’s predecessor, current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, also opposed the construction of a third runway, and in a typically flamboyant manner. “This judgment has exciting wider implications for keeping climate change at the heart of all planning decisions,” Will Rundle, head of legal affairs at Friends of the Earth, told the BBC. “It's time for developers and public authorities to be held to account when it comes to the climate impact of their damaging developments.” “The third runway is already on its knees over costs, noise, air pollution, habitat loss and lack of access, and now Heathrow has yet another impossibly high hurdle to clear,” added John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace U.K., which was another plaintiff in the case. “Boris Johnson should now put Heathrow out of its misery and cancel the third runway once and for all. No ifs, no buts, no lies, no U-turns.” As mentioned, the ruling does not permanently block Heathrow from building a third runway. It simply puts an indefinite pause on the proceedings due to the fact that the Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) does not abide by the Paris Agreement as required by law. Reads the ruling:
BREAKING: We won! Today we blocked the Tory government plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport.Today’s judgment is a major victory for all Londoners who are passionate about tackling the climate emergency and cleaning up our air. https://t.co/59MEn2X6Lw — Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) February 27, 2020
“We have not decided, and could not decide, that there will be no third runway at Heathrow. We have not found that a national policy statement supporting this project is necessarily incompatible with the United Kingdom’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change under the Paris Agreement, or with any other policy the government may adopt or international obligation it may undertake.”BD reached out to Grimshaw Architects for comment regarding the court’s decision but did not immediately hear back. BD did note, however, that other architects had taken to social media to express approval of the ruling. Grimshaw has been working on a “sustainable but affordable” expansion master plan since 2016, although the push for a third runway—and pushback against it—has been active for over a decade.