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Portugal’s Proposed Ecocidal Airport Grounded

The Portuguese government has grounded an ecocidal airport that would have decimated a biodiverse wetland. However, it isn’t the end of the climate-wrecking air travel plan. Specifically, the government is still hurtling ahead with plans to build the new airport at a different location. Of course, this will be disastrous for the climate crisis and nature. Portugal’s airport plans In 2019, the Portuguese government announced plans to build a new airport outside of Lisbon. The government planned to build this in the Tagus Estuary, close to Portugal’s capital. However, it is one of the main estuaries in Western Europe and Portugal’s most important wetland for waterbirds.

Ecocide Movement Aims To Criminalize Long-Term Environmental Harm

Jojo Mehta co-founded Stop Ecocide in 2017, alongside legal pioneer the late Polly Higgins, to support the recognition and establishment of ecocide as a crime at the International Criminal Court at the Hague. She’ll be at COP28 in Dubai to push for an ecocide law. Ecocide is generally defined as mass damage and destruction of ecosystems — severe harm to nature that is widespread or long-term. Stop Ecocide generates collaborations around the globe at every level of society, from diplomats and politicians to lawyers and academics, from corporate influencers to indigenous and faith leaders. 

Growing Number Of Countries Consider Making Ecocide A Crime

A growing number of countries are considering introducing laws to make ecocide a crime. Mexico is the latest country where politicians are seeking to deter environmental damage – and to get justice for its victims – by criminalising it. Karina Marlen Barrón Perales, congresswoman for Nuevo León, has submitted a bill to the Mexican congress introducing a new crime of “ecocide”. While damaging the environment is already a civil offence in most countries, recognition of ecocide elevates the most egregious cases to a crime – with accompanying penalties.

Parliament Adds Ecocide To EU’s Draft List Of Environmental Crimes

“This is historical! The European Parliament unanimously supports my proposal to enshrine ecocide in European law,” said French MEP Marie Toussaint, who is leading the EU’s environmental crime directive for the Greens in the European Parliament. According to the French MEP, “the issue of ecocide has resurfaced” in recent years since the Erika oil tanker sank off the Brittany coast in 1999, bringing the issue to the EU’s attention. “The litigation cases that we have taken, for the climate or for the rights of nature, have contributed to reviving the urgency of dealing with attacks on living beings in and through the law,” she said.

Extinction Rebellion Activists Glue Themselves To European Commission HQ

A group of 10 Extinction Rebellion climate activists on Monday glued themselves to the entrance doors of the European Commission's Berlaymont building in Brussels. Around 25 activists in total, coming from Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands and Italy among others, were present to call on the EU to do more against environmental damage and to criminalize ecocide — the deliberate and systematic destruction of ecosystems. "We want [EU countries] to criminalize ecocide and the Commission could start doing that," said Amelie, a member of Extinction Rebellion Berlin, while her hand was glued to the Commission's building. "We don't have time to wait because biodiversity loss is going on and on ... we need to start acting."

After The Wars In Iraq, ‘Everything Living Is Dying’

As far back as 2005, the United Nations had estimated that Iraq was already littered with several thousand contaminated sites. Five years later, an investigation by The Times, a London-based newspaper, suggested that the U.S. military had generated some 11 million pounds of toxic waste and abandoned it in Iraq. Today, the country remains awash in hazardous materials, such as depleted uranium and dioxin, which have polluted the soil and water. And extractive industries like the KAR oil refinery often operate with minimal transparency. On top of all of this, Iraq is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, which has already contributed to grinding water shortages and prolonged drought. In short, Iraq presents a uniquely dystopian tableau—one where human activity contaminates virtually every ecosystem, and where terms like “ecocide” have special currency.

Philippe Sands Makes The Case For A New International Crime Called Ecocide

The British Lawyer And Author Has Held Nazis And Presidents Accountable For Crossing The Moral Red Line. Now, He Argues, The Time Has Come To Pursue Those Who Commit Crimes Against The Environment. His lectures are part of a global campaign, led by Stop Ecocide International, to make acts of mass environmental destruction a crime within the purview of the International Criminal Court, which has a mandate to investigate and prosecute individuals who otherwise would evade accountability after committing the most serious crimes of concern to humanity at large.

A Plea To Make Widespread Environmental Damage An International Crime

The campaign to make ecocide an international crime took center stage in the Hague on Tuesday as Bangladesh, Samoa and Vanuatu advocated criminalizing environmental destruction during a virtual forum at the annual meeting of the International Criminal Court’s 123 member nations. The forum, attended by more than 1,300 individual participants, represented a collective cry for justice from three of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries. It came less than a month after they and other developing nations pressed their claims at the United Nations climate talks in Glasgow for greater resiliency and adaptation funding from the industrialized world, but came away largely unsatisfied.

‘Ecocide’ Movement Pushes For A New International Crime

In 1948, after Nazi Germany exterminated millions of Jews and other minorities during World War II, the United Nations adopted a convention establishing a new crime so heinous it demanded collective action. Genocide, the nations declared, was “condemned by the civilized world” and justified intervention in the affairs of sovereign states. Now, a small but growing number of world leaders including Pope Francis and French President Emmanuel Macron have begun citing an offense they say poses a similar threat to humanity and remains beyond the reach of international criminal law: ecocide, or widespread destruction of the environment. The pope describes ecocide as “the massive contamination of air, land and water,” or “any action capable of producing an ecological disaster,” and has proposed making it a sin for Roman Catholics.

On Contact: Ecosocialism

On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to writer, teacher and activist Victor Wallis about the prospect and need for ecosocialism. Wallis’ book is entitled ‘Red-Green Revolution: The Politics and Technology of Ecosocialism’. Today we discuss socialism, capitalism, and ecocide with Victor Wallis. "The problem is it's not enough to run all of our private cars with solar cells. The whole problem of how much is used up in the way of materials, how much space is taken up and also the fact that if you don't change the social configuration of power, any progressive change that you might bring about can easily be undone by the same people who put them there in the first place."
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