Climate protesters sentenced for occupying EDF’s power plant

Twenty one protesters were sentenced yesterday for aggravated trespass after occupying a gas-fired power station last year. Although none faced jail sentences, 16 of the climate activists were given community […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Twenty one protesters were sentenced yesterday for aggravated trespass after occupying a gas-fired power station last year.

Although none faced jail sentences, 16 of the climate activists were given community service orders of between 150-200 hours while the other five received 18-month conditional discharges.

They scaled the chimneys of EDF Energy’s newly built West Burton power plant in Nottinghamshire last October, with many strapped to a cooling tower for more then a week. Part of the No Dash for Gas Group, the activists said they were protesting against the Government’s policy to focus on fossil fuels rather than moving towards renewable energy.

More than 64,000 people signed an online petition in support of the protesters after EDF Energy launched a £5 million lawsuit against them which was later dropped following a public outcry.

On sentencing, the judge is believed to have said: “All of you are highly educated men and women, industrious committed individuals who work and volunteer in your communities. Your motives were genuine. What you planned, you executed to perfection.”

Speaking after the sentencing, Rachel Thompson, one of the protestors said: “Although – thank goodness – none of us are going to jail, we are still facing penalties for simply standing up for clean, safe and affordable energy. Meanwhile, everyone in the country will be facing a disastrously destabilised climate and rocketing fuel bills if we don’t stop the Government’s reckless dash for gas. The Government is putting the profits of the Big Six energy companies before the fundamental need for a safe and liveable climate for generations to come.”