A global campaign to make “ecocide” a crime under international law is an attempt to outlaw the worst kinds of environmental destruction.
A grassroots movement called End Ecocide on Earth is seeking to have the wholesale destruction of ecosystems ranked alongside offences such as genocide and war crimes. The International Criminal Court (ICC) would then be able to prosecute companies over major pollution incidents, such as the oil spills.
The campaign, is the latest in a long-running drive dating back to the 1970s to create tougher global environmental safeguards.
Although it was one of the five core crimes covered by the Rome Statute that set up the ICC, ecocide mysteriously vanished from negotiations at the United Nations. An academic who has studied the process said he had been unable to find out why, but suspects that lobbying by the nuclear industry may have been influential
Dr Damien Short, said his research hit a number of “dead ends”. “The only little bit we picked up was that the nuclear lobby had a hand in it,” said Dr Short. “With the UN, you’re never really fully aware of why decisions were made.”
Prisca Merz, one of the founders of the campaign, said the plan is to build a global grassroots movement to put pressure on world leaders.
“We need to act fast. That’s the beauty of this law. It is just one law, but the impact it will have on the way we do business will be enormous,” she added.
(Source: The Independent)