Update: Heathrow third runway decision does not make cognizable the Paris Agreement

It has been reported in the media, and claimed by Elizabeth May, MP at the Runnymede Conference in March, that a British Court has recognized the Paris Agreement into English law and has quashed the third runway at Heathrow Airport as a result. But reading the case, Plan B Earth – indicates this not to be so. Rather, the court found as a matter of administrative law that the Minister had not properly exercised his discretion in not “considering” the Paris Agreement. The Court said:

238. Again we would emphasize that it does not follow from this that the Secretary of State was obliged to act in accordance with the Paris Agreement or to reach any particular outcome. The only legal obligation, in our view, was to take the Paris Agreement into account when arriving at his decision.

So, it still remains, as we reported previously in our Part 1 posting on a possible Section 7 claim, that the the Paris Agreement is not cognizable domestically. In other words, it will not be recognized by Canadian courts as binding law.