The « Climate-Change Defense » in UK lawsuit

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In September 2008,  in an effort to draw public attention to UK government support for new coal-fired electricity projects, Greenpeace activists painted Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s name on a smokestack at the power plant. They were charged for causing criminal damage during their protest.  The company, E.ON, claimed that the paint cost more than £30,000 (US$50,000) to remove. 

The judgment : the activists were cleared. The British jury accepted a lawful-excuse defense for property damaged with the intention of averting even greater damage from climate change:  in other words, the « climate-change defense » (as described in the NY Times).  It’s uncertain how other courts will follow this. But it certainly illustrates the challenges of energy and climate change. 

More info, see BBC NEWS.