Activist tells judge society cannot ‘injunct way out of the climate crisis’

An environmental activist accused of breaching a court order aimed at restricting protests on the M25 has told a High Court judge that society cannot “injunct” its way out of the “climate crisis”.

Theresa Norton, 65, of Scarborough, North Yorkshire, spoke in her defence at a High Court hearing in London on Friday.

She told Mr Justice Soole that mankind was facing its “greatest existential crisis” and said finding a solution was the “responsibility of everybody”.

Just Stop Oil protesters outside court
Just Stop Oil protesters, including Theresa Norton, outside the Royal Courts of Justice (Aaron Chown/PA)

Ms Norton is one of 12 Just Stop Oil protesters accused of breaching a court injunction aimed at restricting M25 protests.

Lawyers representing National Highways say protesters caused “considerable delays” and are in contempt of court.

Accused protesters have all put arguments in their defence.

Mr Justice Soole finished hearing evidence at the High Court in London on Friday and is expected to deliver a ruling on Monday.

“It is the greatest existential crisis mankind has ever faced and it is getting worse,” said Ms Norton.

“This Government has not taken the climate crisis seriously.”

She said “young people” taking part in protests were “fighting for their lives”.

“It is the responsibility of everyone to stop it,” she told the judge.

“We cannot injunct our way out of the climate crisis.”

Mr Justice Soole said he was not going to determine “issues concerning climate change”.

He said he had been asked to decide whether people had knowingly breached an injunction.