Officially Defines an ‘Ecocide’ as a Crime, Prepares Way to Prosecute Many Polluters • Protecting Children’s Health

A panel of international lawyers on Tuesday published an official legal definition of the term “ecocide,” which enables countries at the forefront of the climate crisis to be accountable for major pollutions.

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A panel of international lawyers on Tuesday published an official legal definition of the term “ecocide,” which for decades has been condemned by conservationists and climate action campaigners but has so far not been identified as a crime.

With the Stop Ecocide campaign new legal definition in ecocide, advocates and experts seek to finally include the pursuit of environmental degradation by the order of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has made it possible for countries on the front line of climate crisis – being the least responsible for carbon emissions and industrial pollution global warming – to account for major pollutions

“The time is right to use the power of international criminal law to protect our global environment,” SAYS Philippe Sands, a professor at University College London and co-chair of the expert drafting panel called Stop Ecocide. “Seventy -five years ago,‘ crimes against humanity ’and‘ genocide ’were spoken of for the first time, in Nuremberg’s Courtroom 600, and my hope is that this group will be able to gain the experience of those days to forge a meaning that is practical, effective, and sustainable, and that could attract support to allow for a revision of the ICC Statue. ”

The panel said two thresholds must be reached in order to file ecocide as an ICC crime: those who commit it must be aware of the high probability of serious or prolonged harm, and actions must be ” against the law or unwillingly. “

Representatives of the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu were the first to call for ecocide to become an international crime associated with war crimes, when EU ambassador John Licht spoke at the Assembly of States Parties at the ICC in December 2019.

“We believe this radical idea deserves serious discussion,” SAYS Licht at the time, caused the same call from the leaders of the Maldives. Residents of the two low-lying countries face some of the most severe and imminent danger of the climate crisis, accounting for 80% of the Maldives ’1,190 islands. standing only three feet above sea level and 97% reported coastal destruction.

Advanced countries such as the Maldives and Vanuatu are also some of the communities that bear the least responsibility for the climate crisis, compared to contributing leaders such as the US, China and Russia.

“We don’t see any serious efforts on the part of the major emerging nations to save humanity from the impending catastrophe of climate change,” he said. SAYS Maldivian diplomat Ahmed Saleem in 2019.

Jojo Mehta, co-founder of Stop Ecocide, SAY CNBC Tuesday less than two years after calls from both island countries, “This conversation no longer falls on deaf ears and, in fact, it’s really gathering strength.”

French President Emanuel Macron called for ecocide to be filed with the ICC and Belgian ambassadors brought up the issue in their official statement to the Court in 2020, while political parties in Sweden, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK have supported the calls.

“If we have ecocide [recognized by the ICC], what this means is that you can file crimes against the environment that may not necessarily be connected to some widespread human violence, ”Rachel Killean, a law professor at Queen’s University Belfast, said. SAY CNBC. “It’s a different way of looking at what violence looks like.”

Mehta mentioned that the biggest contributors to ecocide could be appointed by the ICC to the UN Security Council, if the Court includes them in its mandate, because countries including the US and Russia are not signatories to the Rome Statute. at the ICC.

Despite the fierce battle to figure out the superpowers, the movement’s proponents argue that the fight to include ecocide in the ICC mandate is useful to help create a “moral red line”About the destruction of the Earth.

“Right now, if you’re campaigning for human rights and social justice, and at least you know that mass murder and suffering are irrelevant,” Mehta told CNBC. “They’re criminals and they’re convicted. But, if you’re in the arena of nature, that’s not up to you. You’re standing in a vanity. There’s a missing piece of foundation that says this much damage is forbidden to be allowed.”

If the ICC needs to recognize ecocide, the campaign said, it could lead to access to reparations for countries such as Vanuatu and the Maldives as well as other mainline communities and greater understanding of public about the planet’s emergency.

“None of the international laws protect the natural world as an end in itself,” SAYS Sands as the expert drafting panel exudes meaning. “This legislation is not only anthropocentric, it’s ecocentric. I’m not a star in the view of the law-just adopting a text can’t stop fears. But it can change consciousness.”

Originally published on Common Dreams.

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