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Thread: Ecocide may soon become an international crime

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    Thumbs up Ecocide may soon become an international crime

    On 15th July the French Parliament voted to make ecocide (mass damage and destruction of ecosystems) a crime, with 99.3% approval. President Macron calls for ecocide to be made a crime in international law.

    Six days later, the Belgian Green parties, who are the second largest political group, introduced bill to make ecocide a crime in Belgium too.

    The international Stop Ecocide movement is gathering steam and petitions are already being circulated to ask the British, Dutch and Spanish lawmakers to follow suit.

    If you agree that it's high time big corporations and governments around the world take their responsibilities more seriously and stop destroying the Earth, please sign the petition to Make Ecocide an International Crime Against Peace.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    On 15th July the French Parliament voted to make ecocide (mass damage and destruction of ecosystems) a crime, with 99.3% approval. President Macron calls for ecocide to be made a crime in international law.

    Six days later, the Belgian Green parties, who are the second largest political group, introduced bill to make ecocide a crime in Belgium too.

    The international Stop Ecocide movement is gathering steam and petitions are already being circulated to ask the British, Dutch and Spanish lawmakers to follow suit.

    If you agree that it's high time big corporations and governments around the world take their responsibilities more seriously and stop destroying the Earth, please sign the petition to Make Ecocide an International Crime Against Peace.
    I am interested how this law would fare vs big business and industry sanctioned by the state... Pipelines, development projects, dams etc etc... Can the government be charged with a crime? Who would enforce it?

    It is easy to charge someone for arson and the like... but the bigger issues is when industry and the environment have divergent interests.
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    In principal this is an honorable idea.

    In reality I see it open to several show stopping problems :-
    a) Who would police it if the consensus was that a govt in a particular country (say Indonesia) was allowing mass illegal burn offs
    - I can't see a ruling against such a country as enforceable short of war (e.g. can't starve the people to get at the govt)
    b) dangerous manipulation of what constitutes Ecocide, it is too open to opinion and a biased view of who is doing what
    c) Any imprecise defining of what Ecocide is leaves it open to hijacking by political ideology groups seeing it as a cudgel

    The French revolution taught (some) of us how sweeping change can consume its own in its initial excesses

    So, I am not convinced it is adequately defined enough to vote for without deeper fears of the outcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Archetype0ne View Post
    I am interested how this law would fare vs big business and industry sanctioned by the state... Pipelines, development projects, dams etc etc... Can the government be charged with a crime? Who would enforce it?

    It is easy to charge someone for arson and the like... but the bigger issues is when industry and the environment have divergent interests.
    Governments, or at least politicians, can be charged with crimes in international law at the International Court of Justice of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. The former deals mostly with states and has jurisdiction over all countries in the world except the Vatican and Palestine. The latter deals with genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes at the level of individuals and corporations. However a lot of developing countries, especially in the Muslim world, have not signed or ratified the Rome Statute. China, India and Indonesia have not signed the treaty. All European countries have signed the Rome Statute except Belarus and Russia. All American countries have except Cuba and Nicaragua. The USA is the only developed country that withdrew from it (not difficult to imagine why).

    Additionally, International sanctions can be applied on states that do not respect international law.

    I think that the law on Ecocide would apply first and foremost to corporations rather than governments, as most countries agree that Climate Change is an existential threat and that excessive pollution and the destruction of ecosystems such as rainforests are partly to blame. All countries in the world have signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and so far the only significant CO2 emitters which have not yet ratified it are Iran and Turkey.

    It is noteworthy that the Paris Agreement came into being in great part thanks to the lobbying of Avaaz, which has been dubbed "the globe's largest and most powerful online activist network" (see highlights of Avaaz's achievements). The petition on Ecocide I posted above is also from Avaaz.

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