ECOCIDE is: “loss or damage to, or destruction of ecosystem(s) of a given territory(ies), such that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants has been or will be severely diminished.”
A law prohibiting ecocide is not yet in place - but with your help as a legal Earth Protector, it can be.
For 23 years, climate negotiations have failed to significantly curb dangerous industrial activity - activity which right now is destroying countless ecosystems, activity which is now internationally acknowledged to exacerbate climate change.
That's because negotiation is not what is required. We cannot negotiate with leaking oil pipelines, or with dying coral reefs. We cannot negotiate with hurricanes. What is required is a change in law - to prevent the dangerous industrial activity in the first place.
With an international crime of ecocide in place at the International Criminal Court (ICC), persons of senior responsibility - for example CEOs and government ministers - shall become individually criminally responsible for ecological, climate and cultural ecocide that they recklessly cause or contribute to.
The crime can be proposed by any member state at the ICC as an amendment to the governing document, the Rome Statute. Once tabled, the amendment cannot be vetoed - member states can only sign it or abstain. When two thirds of member states have signed up to an amendment, it becomes law.
You can read more about ecocide law and its history at our sister site Eradicating Ecocide - the main information portal on ECOCIDE.
You can read the proposed key parts of the Model Law below, researched and developed by practising criminal lawyers.
THE MODEL LAW:
1 Ecocide crime is:
acts or omissions committed recklessly in times of peace or conflict by any senior person within the course of State, corporate or any other entity’s activity which cause, contribute to, or may be expected to cause or contribute to serious ecological, climate or cultural loss or damage to or destruction of ecosystem(s) of a given territory(ies), such that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants has been or will be severely diminished.
2 To establish seriousness, impact(s) must be widespread, long-term or severe.
3 For the purposes of paragraph 1:
(a) ’climate loss or damage to or destruction of’ means impact(s) of one or more of the following occurrences, unrestricted by State or jurisdictional boundaries:
(i) rising sea-levels
(ii) hurricanes, typhoons or cyclones
(iv) other climate occurrences
(b) ’ecosystems’ means a biological community of interdependent inhabitants and their physical environment.
(c) ’territory(ies)’ means one or more of the following habitats, unrestricted by State or jurisdictional boundaries:
(ii) fresh-water, marine or high seas
(iv) other natural habitat
(d) ‘peaceful enjoyment’ means peace, health and cultural integrity.
(e) ‘inhabitants’ means indigenous occupants and/or settled communities of a territory consisting of one or more of the following:
(ii) animals, fish, birds or insects
(iii) plant species
(iv) other living organisms .
4 For the purposes of paragraph 1: the Paris Agreement of 4 November 2016 shall be considered to be established premise for prior knowledge by State, corporate or any other entity’s senior person, or any other person of superior responsibility.
Elements of Ecological, Climate and Cultural Ecocide
1 The perpetrator’s acts or omissions caused, contributed to, or may be expected to cause or contribute to serious ecological, climate or cultural loss or damage to, or destruction of ecosystem(s) of a given territory(ies).
2 The perpetrator’s activity has or will severely diminish peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants.
3 The perpetrator’s acts or omissions were reckless where the perpetrator had knowledge or ought to have had knowledge of the likelihood of ecological, climate or cultural harm.
4 The perpetrator was a senior person within the course of State, corporate or any other entity’s activity in times of peace or conflict.