Environmental campaigners have warned they could once again take the government to court over its “lacklustre” climate policy.

Friends of the Earth said it was “poised to act” if the revised net-zero strategy, published today, failed to meet legal obligations to cut carbon emissions.

The campaign group – along with ClientEarth and the Good Law Project – took the government to the High Court last year over its original flagship climate plan, and won.

But the charity said a newly updated policy was also inadequate.

Katie de Kauwe, a lawyer with Friends of the Earth, told Sky News: “We will be looking very carefully at this revised strategy and seeing whether it does stack up or whether it is indeed just kicking the can down the road.

“But under the Climate Change Act, sections 13 and 14 do require plans and policies to enable upcoming carbon budgets to be met.

“So this isn’t just some sort of wishy-washy requirement. This is something that is hard edged.”

More on Net Zero

The government says its new strategy will ensure energy security, generate new jobs and cut carbon.

But its raft of measures include many that have been already announced.

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Is the UK on track for net zero?

It promised investment in electric vehicle charging points and heat pumps, a faster planning process for new solar and wind farms, and the start of ‘Great British Nuclear’, which will select a design for a small modular reactor by the autumn.

The strategy also re-affirms the government’s commitment to controversial technology to capture carbon from industrial sites and either use it in manufacturing or store it deep underground.

Proponents argue that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is important in the transition to cleaner energy.

But others warn it will allow continued use of fossil fuels, undermining efforts to leave oil and gas in the ground.

Dr Peter Connor, associate professor of sustainable energy policy at the University of Exeter, said: “Easily the best funded plank of this policy initiative is Carbon Capture and Storage, £20bn for a technology which has previously proved to be great at sucking in money with little to show in terms of large-scale reduction of carbon entering the atmosphere. This is a commitment to maintaining the status quo of burning fossil fuels.”

Other scientists said plans to insulated houses to make them more energy efficient were inadequate.

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The ‘Cinderella part of the package’

Professor of international and climate change politics at The University of Manchester, Matthew Paterson, called the retrofit scheme the “Cinderella part of the package”.

“300,000 homes to retrofit is laughably limited given how big the challenge is of the UK’s leaky homes,” Mr Paterson said.

Although the government was legally obliged by the High Court to publish a revised net zero strategy by the end of March, massive climate investment in the US and the EU has also underlined the need for a bold rethink of UK policy.

Some companies have already said they are considering withdrawing from the UK to focus on projects in the US because of multi-billion dollar tax incentives unveiled by President Biden.

Others warn they need a level playing field to compete on the world stage.

The UK start-up, Naked Energy, has invented an innovative device for collecting warmth from the sun and efficiently turning that into heat and hot water for large buildings such as hotels and hospitals.

Christophe Williams, the company’s CEO, said the government must support homegrown manufacturing.

“The technologies to help with the energy transition are out there,” Mr Williams told Sky News.

“But they need more raising of awareness, policy support and financial support to get them on buildings, to get businesses and communities saving money and doing it in a cleaner way.”