A proposal for an Ecoside Law
October 01, 2019 by Extinction Rebellion
Right now, large-scale and systematic destruction of the natural living world – ecocide – is legally permitted. Current regulations simply do not stop the scale of harm we are witnessing play out across the planet.
Climate litigation (suing) may result in compensation, but it cannot prevent dangerous industrial activity from continuing. We believe ecocide must become an internationally recognised crime, implying personal criminal liability for government ministers and CEOs. Without such a crime in place to protect the Earth, climate and ecological justice are next to impossible to achieve.
Ecocide is not just about CO2 emissions. It is also about deforestation, biodiversity loss, water pollution, soil depletion, overfishing, industrial farming, oil spills, indeed any activity or technology leading to widespread, long-term or severe loss, damage or destruction of ecosystems.
With one simple legal change, all of this can be addressed. To amend the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, it only takes one Head of State to propose that amendment and a 2⁄3 majority vote to adopt it. The moment of proposal is key, because when a crime of ecocide becomes visible on the horizon, civil society across the world has a powerful lever to pressure their own governments.