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Article

9 Nov 2021

Author:
Nina de Ayala Parker, on Euronews

Make ecocide a crime against humanity, says activist

"COP26: Make ecocide a crime against humanity," 9 Nov 2021

In his opening speech at COP26, world-renowned naturalist David Attenborough said: “Humans are the greatest problem-solvers on this planet”...

...One powerful solution to prevent this continuous, bloody chain of damage is to criminalise "ecocide" and get it recognised in international law.

This would allow every single citizen to hold a company or a government to account for starting and continuing with the extraction of fossil fuels from a finite planet.

"Ecocide" refers to the mass-scale damage and destruction of the living world. It is defined as follows:

"Unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts."

Put literally, it means “killing one’s home”...

...Criminalising ecocide will slow down our consumption as we transition to green energy. In a world where ecocide was a crime, exploitative profit-driven fossil fuel companies would be the ones to go extinct....

...It's also true that lower-income countries, indigenous people, small-scale farmers, children and the poor did not cause the climate crisis and will bear the adverse consequences.

Not only will criminalising ecocide be part of the solution for saving humanity, but it will give the most vulnerable in society a voice. And it will give nature a voice...

...Along with political, diplomatic and economic initiatives, the law has a role to play in transforming our relationship with the natural world, shifting it from one of harm to one of harmony...

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