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European Union

Climate love

Adding ecocide to EU’s draft list of environmental crimes

After a unanimous vote in the legal affairs committee last week, the European Parliament adopted on March 29th its position on the protection of the environment through criminal law, including a decison to enshrine ecocide in European Law.
French MEP, Marie Toussaint, Vice-President of The Greens/EFA and head of the EU’s environmental crime directive for the Greens in the European Parliament, explained that the issue of ecocide has resurfaced in recent years, since the Erika, a 25 year-old oil tanker, broke in two, polluting almost 400 km of French coastline and causing unprecedented damage to marine environment.
“The litigation cases that we have taken, for the climate or for the rights of nature, have contributed to reviving the urgency of dealing with attacks on living beings in and through the law,” she said.
“EU member states represent 40% of the states parties to the International Criminal Court; to register ecocide in their domestic law could therefore have a ratchet effect to condemn this crime at the global level,” Toussaint explained.
To tackle environmental crimes, the European Commission had already tabled a proposal in 2021 providing a more harmonised framework for member states to deter and punish offenders, but the text did not really include the concept of ecocide.
In the new text, the legal definition of ecocide is included in the list of offences with clearly defined terms, i.e. “Member States shall ensure that any conduct causing severe and either widespread or long-term or irreversible damage shall be treated as an offence of particular gravity and sanctioned as such in accordance with the legal systems of the Member States.”
The addition of ecocide in EU law will also be backed by sanctions – ranging from fines to imprisonment – for companies and individuals guilty of crimes against the environment.
Let's hope that this level of ambition of the Parliament’s text is maintained during negotiations with EU countries and the Commission, and that all member states will have to recognise ecocide in their national law.

Do you agree?

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  • Daniel Waweru

    2 w

    AMAZING! This is so emcouraging

    • We Don't Have Time

      2 w

      Dear Jacqueline Marchelli Thank you for getting your climate love to level 2! We have reached out to European Union and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! /Adam We Don't Have Time

      • Gorffly mokua

        2 w

        Great! This demonstrates commitment to protect ecosystems and biodiversity. Well done👏

        • Saustine Lusanzu

          2 w

          Congratulations 🎉

          • Wandera Martha

            2 w

            really looking foward to the outcomes

            • Esther Wanjiku

              3 w

              Yeeeeeeeesss!!!Making ecocide a law gives more vigor to bringing environmental injustice culprits to book

                • Sarah Chabane

                  9 w

                  Such fantastic and encouraging news, I hope it will have an impact on EU countries' legislation!

                  • Edwin wangombe

                    9 w

                    Yes... This action is well overdue... But it's better late than never... We have to criminalize ecocide

                    • George Kariuki

                      9 w

                      It is encouraging to see the European Parliament move forward with its plan to add ecocide to the EU's draft list of environmental crimes.

                      • Sameen Shahid

                        9 w

                        Finally !

                        • Joseph Githinji

                          9 w

                          This regulations will go a long way in safeguarding our environment.

                        • Tabitha Kimani

                          9 w

                          This is music to the soul. A huge win for the environment and climate restoration.

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