Ecocide: Should Destruction of the Planet Be a Crime?
To prosecute and imprison political leaders and corporate executives would require a parsing of legal boundaries and a recalibration of criminal accountability.
At many moments in history, humanity’s propensity for wanton destruction has demanded legal and moral restraint.
One of those times, seared into modern consciousness, came at the close of World War II, when Soviet and Allied forces liberated the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Dachau. Photographs and newsreels shocked the conscience of the world. Never had so many witnessed evidence of a crime so heinous, and so without precedent, that a new word—genocide—was needed to describe it, and in short order, a new framework of international justice was erected to outlaw it.
Another crime of similar magnitude is now at large in the world. It is not as conspicuous and repugnant as a death camp, but its power of mass destruction, if left unchecked, would strike the lives of hundreds of millions of people. A movement to outlaw it, too, is gaining momentum. That crime is called ecocide.
Read more at Inside Climate News by David Sassoon, April 7, 2021.
Together, Let’s End Ecocide. Sign the Petition!
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“For more than 50 years, the international community, and a growing citizen mobilization, have been discussing the recognition of the crimes of ecocide, these actions which have caused serious ecological damage by participating in the manifest and significant overstepping of planetary limits, committed in knowledge of the consequences which would result from it and which could not be ignored. And for 50 years, these crimes have gone unpunished.
However, there is urgency. The climate is warming up faster and faster. Planetary limits are largely exceeded, biodiversity is threatened, deforestation continues to make us more vulnerable to zoonotic pandemics like that of Covid 19. It is more than ever time to recognize, condemn and therefore prevent these serious crimes against environment and against our human rights…”
The Essential Advocate, Philippe Sands Makes the Case for a New International Crime Called Ecocide
…Agitating for progressive change in the law and culture has been a hallmark of his career, and now, believing the world is facing an environmental crisis of epic proportions, he has become a leading voice behind calls to put mass harm to the environment below international criminal law’s moral red line, alongside war crimes and genocide.
Read this fabulously detailed article at Inside Climate News by Katie Surma, December 22, 2021.