Rugby Cement loses CO2 court battle

Rugby Cement loses CO2 court battle
Published: 12 January 2007

Rugby Cement has lost a unique High Court challenge to scrap the limit of Carbon Dioxide it can emit.

In what was regarded as a test case, Cemex - who own the Lawford Road plant - asked top judge Mr. Justice Sullivan to quash the Government decision to allocate a CO2 emission cap on its works.

It also sought an order to stop the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) from re-allocating 343,838 tonnes of emissions from Rugby to another competitor.

But the High Court rejected the challenges, and said the rulings had not infringed ’equality and discrimination’ laws, as argued by Cemex.

The CO2 cap was put on by DEFRA, who said the Rugby plant could not emit more than 819,974t of carbon dioxide.

Cemex also put forward an order in front of the High Court to stop DEFRA from re-allocating more than 343,838t of C)2 to one of its competitors.

But Mr. Justice Sullivan said DEFRA was justified in its decisions.

Cemex had argued that the allocation breached the EC principles of equality and discrimination, and ’constitutes an unjustified interference with the fundamental right of freedom of establishment enshrined in Article 43 of the EC Treaty’.

It also claimed that the ruling infringed Article 87 - ’prohibiting competitive distortions caused by unjustified state aid’.

The Rugby Cement owners had already put forward the same arguments before the EC last November, but ended up with the same unsuccessful outcome when the Commission backed the UK’s National Allocation Plan for emissions.