A report on access to environmental justice has been quietly published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) during peak holiday season. Published on an obscure website, the report includes inaccurate figures on the cost of pursuing environmental legal cases against the government.
On 15 August DEFRA, now run by “shy green” Michael Gove, opened a consultation on a report about how the UK will implement the Aarhus Convention – which provides the rights to access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice when it comes to environmental issues.
The DEFRA report argues that the UK is in full compliance with all the three pillars of the convention. However, recently the government adopted new rules which expose people and organisations to potentially unlimited legal costs when pursuing an environmental case against the government.