energy company settling lawsuit against activists who occupied power plant

by Tim Phillips

EDF Energy is settling a £5 million lawsuit it filed against 21 environmental activists who occupied one of its gas-fired power plants in October 2012. According to today’s Guardian article,

The activists, part of the No Dash for Gas group fighting against a new generation of gas plants in the UK, had occupied the site of a gas-fired power plant owned by EDF in West Burton, beginning last October. Several remained strapped to a cooling tower at the site for over a week, the longest such occupation in the UK. EDF’s claim against the activists said this action had caused damage in excess of £5m, a figure that included staff and labour costs, delays to the completion of the station, specialist security and lost carbon emission credits.

Like the Tar Sands Blockade’s response to TransCanada’s $5 million lawsuit, the UK activists apparently agreed not to enter multiple sites operated by EDF. (A civil injunction against the activists is already in place and bars them from EDF power stations across the country.) The activists could also be incarcerated for the action, because they pled guilty to trespass charges on February 20 and several of them have previous protest convictions. The Guardian article states that we’ll find out in the next few weeks whether these will be “the first prison sentences for climate change activists in the UK.”