Sarah Finch disagreed with a court decision allowing oil drilling in Horsehill, UK. She believed it might be illegal and was concerned about its impact on the climate. This case is important for future fossil fuel projects in the country. Ms. Finch focused on “downstream emissions,” which are harmful gases released when the oil is used. She thought these emissions could reach a high level over the next 20 years. The authorities argued they only needed to consider the drilling’s climate impact. Ms. Finch compared it to claiming a low-calorie cake as long as it’s uneaten. Harmful gases like carbon dioxide cause global warming by trapping heat in the air.

The council followed the rules in their planning decision. Finch initially lost in a lower court, but a higher court ruled in her favor. Lawyers pointed out underestimated emissions. Developers are concerned that a thorough assessment could affect project approval. The case is important for achieving zero net emissions. There is controversy over new fossil fuel projects.