Production at Ratcliffe was halted when activists locked themselves to the conveyer belts, stopping the supply of coal to the plant for over 3 hours. The accused all protest their innocence to the charges of aggrevated tresspass. One of the activists said "I believe this action was a reasonable and proportionate response to the threat of catastrophic climate change and that this action was to prevent a greater crime occuring."
It is estimated that the action at Rattcliffe stopped the burning of 5,000 tonnes of coal, eqivalent to preventing 9,000 tonnes of CO2 being emitted. A low impact lifestyle could release as little as 1 tonne of CO2 per year. Meaning that each of the activists could have offset thier emissions for up to the next 1,000 years!
The action did not only seriously affect production at Ratcliffe but put pressure on the whole grid. To an extent production could have increased elsewhere to cover the shortage but not immdeiately to great affect. Huge pressure was put on the grid and there was much less electricity around that day. This was about stopping coal from being burnt but also electricity from being produced in this way altogether. The activists came very close to shutting Rattcliffe down for 48 hours; EON nearly had to fire the whole furnace back up. If this shortage had persisted, the grid would have been vulnerable to further such actions.
The action was inspired by the Camp for Climate Action, check out http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/ to find out more.