Making ECOCIDE a crime will change the ground rules, closing the door to the destructive practices that have brought us to climate and ecological emergency.
French president Emmanuel Macron has met with 150 randomly selected members of the citizens assembly on climate, the Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat (CCC), in the gardens of the Elysée Palace in Paris to give his response to the assembly’s proposals to tackle climate change.
Foremost among these was the proposal, supported by 99.3 percent of the assembly, that a new crime of ecocide be established in France. Macron stopped short of accepting the exact text proposed, but clearly endorsed the principle.
He assured the citizens of his support: “We'll study, with you and legal experts, how this principle can be incorporated into French law."
Moreover he specifically promised to champion, on behalf of France, the enshrining of ecocide crime in international law: “As for ecocide, I think I was the first leader to use that term when the Amazon was burning. So I share the ambition that you defend.
"The mother of all battles is international: to ensure that this term is enshrined in international law so that leaders … are accountable before the International Criminal Court.”
Jojo Mehta, co-founder of the Stop Ecocide campaign which advocates for exactly this, said: “This is hugely significant. Macron is the first leader of a wealthy industrial nation – one of the G7 – to support an international crime of ecocide. Let’s hold him to it, and look to other countries to follow his example. This conversation is not going to go away.”
Mehta continued: “Making ECOCIDE a crime will change the ground rules, closing the door to the destructive practices that have brought us to climate and ecological emergency … and paving the way for healthier, safer ways of operating.
"It’s the bridge to a world where nature and humanity are both protected and can begin to recover – together.”
Valérie Cabanes, established voice for ecocide law in France, legal expert and close associate of the Stop Ecocide campaign, is resolute: “We take Emmanuel Macron at his word concerning his wish to fight for the recognition of the crime of ecocide at the International Criminal Court on behalf of France.
"Macron says he shares our emotion when faced with those who destroy entire ecosystems with 'full knowledge of the facts and with impunity.' Mr President, we expect you to stick to your words! In the meantime: Thank you!”
This article is based on a press release from Stope Ecocide.