The International Criminal Court has in its statute the authority to prosecute genocide and crimes against humanity. It may soon also include ecocide, which is a crime against all living beings, rivers, forests, or the planet. This would require amending the Rome Statute to include as a crime the destruction of nature, water, or climate in a conscious, irresponsible, and deliberate way. It is necessary to hold those responsible for environmental catastrophes accountable, including CEOs, boards of highly polluting corporations, and heads of state. In the current context of the global climate emergency, it is urgent and necessary to include ecocide in international jurisprudence, so that cases are judged by an international court, not only by the judiciary of each country.
The European Union, various countries around the world, and even the Pope have supported this change in the Rome Statute, as the new definition promotes the understanding that planetary environmental security must be defended at the global level, via international law. This is a matter of climate justice and international rights. We must urgently put an end to the most flagrant offenses against nature, and hold perpetrators accountable.
In Brazil, Indigenous peoples have already filed a complaint of ecocide against the government. Without the protection of the territory, the physical and cultural survival of indigenous peoples, as well as of rivers, lakes, fauna and flora, and the Amazon forest becomes impossible.
On the other side of the planet, the islands of Vanuatu and the Maldives, which are in danger of disappearing as the sea level rises in the Pacific, are also already appealing to the International Criminal Court. Big Polluters are fueling the climate crisis, with devastating effects on people’s lives. Big Polluters must be held accountable.
“Ecocide, a crime against the planet, gains legal definition and moves towards criminalization” – El País: https://bit.ly/3qTA2jC
Stop Ecocide International: https://bit.ly/3wo8lAS
“Legal experts worldwide draw up ‘historic’ definition of ecocide” – The Guardian: https://bit.ly/3yyrstA