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Ecocide: 112,000 vote to criminalize ecological destruction

The Ecologist

23rd January 2014

The effort to raise 1 million votes across Europe to compel EU institutions to progress a law to prevent ecocide has failed. But a powerful movement has taken shape - and the campaign will continue.

Over 112,000 EU citizens have voted for it and society is engaging in a much wider debate about this important concept.

As the European Commission unveils its dismal climate and energy package for 2030, over 112,000 EU citizens have given their personal data in support of a new law which would make the wholesale destruction of ecosystems a crime called Ecocide.

The voluntary initiative has therefore failed to reach the official target level of 1 million votes, which would qualify it as a European Citizens' Initiative - and compel EU officials to undertake specific actions to progress it.

However organisers are now planning to continue to gather signatures and present the petition to the European Parliament.

Networks in place, people engaged

Prisca Merz, Director of End Ecocide in Europe, said: "When we started this initiative, very few Europeans knew what 'ecocide' was. Now, over 112,000 EU citizens have voted for it and society is engaging in a much wider debate about this important concept.

"We have sparked a lot of interest and most importantly, we have built a network of organisations and individuals sharing our aims. This network will continue.

"I would like to thank personally each and every single person who has contributed to making this happen, countless volunteers all over Europe and every concerned citizen who has forwarded our information and added their vote! You all are pioneers! Thank you!"

International Courts for the Environment

A charter will be published on January 30th, calling for the establishment of a European and an International Criminal Court for the Environment.

This charter is the result of a newly formed coalition of organisations advocating for the recognition of environmental crimes. End Ecocide in Europe is among the initiating organisations.

"Deepwater Horizon, Fukushima, the Erika oil spill or Rosia Montana are just a few examples of catastrophes which could be prevented through this new law establishing a strict liability for both, decision-makers in business and government, as well as corporations, for such crimes", said Merz.

Referring to the poor package of measures unveiled yesterday (22nd January) by the European Commission, she added: "The current legal framework sets the wrong incentives. The law of ecocide prevention could trigger the transition to the sustainable and low-carbon economy which is so urgently needed."



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