Nature EU to punish ecocide by up to €40m and 10 years imprisonment


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Just one day after Belgium passes its own ecocide law, and as I was saying that other countries should follow suit to have more impact, the EU just did! This means that all EU countries will have to adapt their legislation. This is in my opinion one of the most important news of the last 20 or 30 years and yet very few news websites are reporting it. It's not even on BBC News. I found this on Euronews.

‘Revolutionary’: EU criminalises the most serious cases of ecosystem destruction

"Countries will have two years to put the updated directive, which covers crimes 'comparable to ecocide', into national law.

The European Union has become the first international body to criminalise the most serious cases of environmental damage that are “comparable to ecocide”.

Ecosystem destruction, including habitat loss and illegal logging, will be punished with tougher penalties and prison sentences under the EU’s updated environmental crime directive."

"Proponents of making ecocide the fifth international crime at the International Criminal Court argue that the updated directive effectively criminalises ecocide. Even though the directive does not include the word directly, in its preamble, it refers to “cases comparable to ecocide.”

Ecocide is defined as “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.”"

"Water abstraction, ship recycling and pollution, the introduction and spread of invasive alien species, and ozone destruction are all identified as environmental activities in the new directive.

It does not mention fishing, export of toxic waste to developing countries or carbon market fraud, however.

For individuals - such as CEOs and board members - consequences for committing environmental crimes can be prison sentences of up to eight years, rising to 10 if they cause the death of any person."
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Here is the full text on the European Parliament website. I checked the results of the vote and it was adopted with 499 in favour, 100 against and 23 abstentions.

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