European Citizens Initiative to End Ecocide Launch

European Union

NGO News Desk :: The launch of the European Citizens’ Initiative “End Ecocide in Europe” will take place in the European Parliament in Brussels on 22 January 2013.  This initiative, led by a committee of 11 citizens from nine European countries, aims at ending ecocide, which is the extensive damage to, destruction of, or loss of ecosystems.  The event marks the beginning of a significant process; in 1 year the initiative must collect 1 million signatures after which Ecocide may be made a crime in the European Union.

The citizens’ proposal calls for a new EU law prohibiting ecocide on European territory and prohibiting ecocide committed by a European company or by a European citizen in Europe or elsewhere.  It also bans the import of products based on ecocide onto the EU.  The citizens are convinced that this is the time to introduce new standards into European law.  Changing the legal framework can facilitate the shift towards a sustainable society and economy.

This European Citizens’ Initiative is inspired by Polly Higgins’ proposal to amend the Rome Statue and make Ecocide the fifth international crime against peace.  The launch will be co-hosted by Keith Taylor (Greens/EFA, UK), Eva Joly (Greens/EFA, France) and Jo Leinen (S&D, Germany) who will all publicly give the first signatures.  Polly will join the event as distinguished guest speaker.

The launch will take place on Tuesday 22 January 2013, from 19.00-19.30 in room ASP 5E1 and will be followed by a reception.

It is noticed that, The Law of Ecocide: Lawyer Polly Higgins proposed the law of Ecocide into the UN in April 2010. The Law of Ecocide will create a legal duty of care upon CEOs and heads of State to be legally responsible for the prevention of ecocide. A draft Ecocide Act has been written (published in Earth is our Business) and a Government Concept Paper, Closing the door to dangerous industrial activity, has been submitted to all governments.

The European Citizens’ Initiative to End Ecocide: The European Citizens’ Initiative aims at gathering the support of 1 million Europeans to prohibit ecocide in Europe, by European citizens or by European companies in one year. If the initiative is successful, the Commission will have to consider the proposal and it might be transformed into EU law.

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