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.