Australian power generator takes Greenpeace to court

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s largest electricity generator AGL Energy took Greenpeace to court on Wednesday alleging breaches of copyright and trademark laws in the environmental group’s campaign that describes AGL as the nation’s “biggest climate polluter.”

Greenpeace Australia Pacific has accused AGL of “greenwashing” by promoting itself as a leading investor in renewable energy.

AGL, which predominantly generates coal-fired electricity, targeted in the Federal Court Greenpeace’s use of its logo in an online advertising campaign that uses the slogan “AGL – Australia’s Greatest Liability.”

AGL unsuccessfully applied for an interim court order in early May that would have forced Greenpeace to remove the logo from its campaign.

Greenpeace argues that Australian trademark law allowed for the logo to be used for satire, parody and criticism.

AGL lawyer Megan Evetts told the court there was a “clear intention to harm the brand” through the Greenpeace campaign.

“AGL is not seeking to stifle public debate. What it is seeking to do is protect itself, protect its intellectual property rights,” Evetts said.

Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator confirms that AGL is the nation’s largest greenhouse gas polluter, accounting for 8% of the nation’s total emissions.

The one-day hearing is continuing before Justice Stephen Burley.

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