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Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport v Climate Activists

Jurisdiction: Criminal Court of Bordeaux

Side A: Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (Corporation)

Side B: Climate Activists (Individual)

Core objectives: Whether climate activists protesting the expansion of a Paris airport acted in a “state of necessity” to warn about the effects of climate change.

On October 3rd, 2020, a national action led by ANV-COP21, Alternatiba and Extinction Rebellion led thousands of environmental activists to protest nationally in 18 French airports to denounce aviation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to demand a reduction of air traffic and the development of alternative transport such as train rails. In Mérignac-Bordeaux, seven climate activists climbed the airport’s fence (without damaging the fence) and stood at the end of the main runway where they deployed a banner and set off smoke flare. The seven activists were prosecuted for obstructing the movement of an aircraft, which could not land on the tarmac where they were standing. The activists requested an acquittal and claimed that the seriousness of climate change deemed their action a state of necessity, which justifies an offense when proportionate, just and necessary to warn of a future danger. The Prosecutor requested a suspended fine of 500 euros. On March 29, 2020, the Bordeaux Court sentenced the seven activists to the payment of a 500 euros suspended fine. According to a news article, the activists intend to appeal the decision.

Full case documents will be added as they become available. 

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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