It's impossible to negotiate with a hurricane. Or a dying coral reef. Maybe it is unsurprising that 23 years of climate negotiations have not abated the dangerous industrial activity we know causes climate ecocide as well as ecological ecocide. After all, the system used to address the problem is based on trade and commerce, not justice.
The Paris agreement was useful in that it proves we all know and agree that industrial activity is linked to climate change. No government minister or CEO can claim lack of knowledge. What it lacks is legal teeth. Without a crime of ecocide, we cannot hope to seriously address the causes of climate loss and damage.
Re-arranging deckchairs on the Titanic
The COP23 climate negotiations in Bonn take us no closer to a just outcome. It's like watching an intricate rearranging of deckchairs on the Titanic, complete with special mechanisms, processes and interim reports. The Pacific islands were well represented thanks to Germany, and yet the touching address from young Fijian Timoci Naulusala "it’s not about what, or how, or who, but it’s about what you can do as an individual" sums up the quantum failure of political will as a whole.
For the Monsantos and Rio Tintos of this world, it signals the go-ahead to continue to recklessly disregard their climate and ecological responsibilities. Timoci Naulusala's statement - whilst well meant - implictly accepts the transfer of responsibility away from where it truly lies, from the industrial polluters.
Mobilising criminal law is the missing piece
Yes, communities can sue, but governments are not being held to account to stop dangerous activity. Nor is there accountability for State and corporate non-action when it comes to abating climate change and ecological destruction. That requires more than civil law - it takes the making of a crime. Mobilising criminal law is the key to climate and ecological justice. This is why our newly launched Mission LifeForce is important - that is what we can do.
Every Trustee signing up counts, because your funds help us put in place the law we know is required - to take ecocide law forward at the International Criminal Court. And because the more of us who sign up to be trustees, the stronger the platform we create so that frontline protectors who end up in court are heard as Conscientious Protectors, and the more powerful the message to the judiciary will be: that there is missing law.
What we are doing is unprecedented. We’re in it for the marathon, not just the short sprint. This is a 3-4 year legal mission, and that's why we're calling it a mission - one that has the potential to turn justice around.
And yet, that isn't such a very long time. The Paris Agreement is intended to come into play in 2020. With your help we can ensure something far more effective and enforceable is in place by then - one law to protect people and planet: ecocide crime.