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European Commission

Climate love

EU takes historical step to criminalise environmental damage comparable to ecocide

In a landmark move on Friday, November 16, EU legislators have fortified penalties for severe environmental crimes, with the directive encompassing significant repercussions for the worst polluters. Individuals could face up to 10 years in prison, while companies might incur fines of up to 5% of their global turnover.
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This strengthened law, slated for formal approval in February 2024, marks a crucial step in combating environmental crimes, as emphasised by Virginijus Sinkevičius, the EU's Environment Commissioner.
“For too long criminals have profited from weak sanctions and lack of enforcement,” said the EU’s Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius. “With this strengthened law, the EU steps up its action,” he added in a statement.
Chief negotiator Antonius Manders underscores the accountability, asserting that those who pollute will face consequences, with penalties targeting both individuals and corporations.
The updated rules could result in a 10-year prison sentence for individuals or company representatives who commit “environmental offences” leading to death. “Qualified” offences could lead to an eight-year prison term, with other offences capped at five years. Fines could be much more painful, too. Aside from the loss of operating licences and public subsidies, offending companies could be fined up to 5% of their global turnover.
Though the term "ecocide" is not explicitly stated, the directive's preamble emphasises criminalising actions "comparable to ecocide," aligning with the definition proposed by international legal experts. This recognition of ecocide aligns with a definition advocated by an international panel of legal experts. This move echoes efforts across nations, including Scotland's consultation on enacting the UK's first ecocide law.
While celebrating this milestone, campaigners highlight the need for comprehensive coverage, expressing regret that the proposal doesn't explicitly include illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) as an additional punishable offence.






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  • zelda ninga

    25 w

    These are the Laws that ought to be have made like yesterday.

    • Esther Wanjiku

      33 w

      This is a long overdue law and it is highly welcome

      4
      • Kevin

        33 w

        The EU here showing immense commitment to environmental protection

        4
        • We Don't Have Time

          33 w

          Dear Sarah Chabane Your climate love has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to European Commission by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

          3
          • Ingmar Rentzhog

            33 w

            Big milestone

            5
            • Jane Wangui

              33 w

              @Rentzhog I agree.

              3
            • Rotich Kim

              33 w

              Eu should always be in Frontline to criticize all those who o against the environment need causing pollution

              5
              • Elizabeth Gathigia

                33 w

                Wise decision to protect the environment

                7
                • Joseph Githinji

                  33 w

                  This is a commendable decision to safeguard our environment.

                  7
                  • mercy nduta

                    33 w

                    This is essential to protect our nature.

                    6
                    • Princess

                      34 w

                      This is a commendable commitment to environmental protection . 👏

                      14
                      • Tabitha Kimani

                        34 w

                        This is great win for the environment. Those who destroy it should be treated like criminals.

                        6
                        • Rotich Kim

                          34 w

                          Eu recently move is of great significant this is a win to our environment 💪

                          6
                          • Markus Lutteman

                            34 w

                            Sooo important!

                            10
                            • Edwin wangombe

                              34 w

                              this is amazing i wish other regions can follow this example and prioritize the protection of the ecosystem

                              6
                              • Gorffly mokua

                                34 w

                                This is a great step! It sets a precedent for prioritizing the preservation of the planet in a more responsible and sustainable approach .

                                6
                                • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

                                  34 w

                                  The EU's recent directive marks a historic stride in the fight against environmental crimes, signaling a significant shift towards accountability for severe polluters. The strengthened penalties, including up to 10 years in prison for individuals and fines of up to 5% of global turnover for companies, underscore the gravity of the EU's commitment. The move is hailed by the EU's Environment Commissioner, Virginijus Sinkevičius, as a crucial step in ending the era of criminals profiting from lax sanctions. The directive, slated for approval in February 2024, notably aligns with the concept of "ecocide," emphasizing criminalizing actions comparable to this term as proposed by international legal experts. While campaigners celebrate this milestone, there is a call for more comprehensive coverage, expressing regret that illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) isn't explicitly included as an additional punishable offence.

                                  16
                                  • Edwin wangombe

                                    34 w

                                    @rukia_ahmed_abdi this is really commendable others should borrow a leaf from the EU

                                    6
                                    • Esther Wanjiku

                                      33 w

                                      @rukia_ahmed_abdi Truly a law that will cause shivers in the spines of those who have been circumventing and playing around with the ecosystem

                                      1
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