Last month was another momentous milestone in the international campaign to criminalise ecocide.
On Tuesday 28 March, the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament unanimously recommended that the European Union should criminalise ecocide in a revised directive on the protection of the environment.
This comes after four other committees made the same recommendation, signifying the growing momentum in Europe for an ecocide law
Several European countries already have ecocide laws, including France, Belgium and Ukraine.
With our European partners moving towards ending ecocide, it is imperative that Scotland’s environmental legislation keeps pace with the international environment.
In 2021, the Scottish Parliament passed the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Act 2021, with the explicit aim of maintaining existing EU environmental standards after Brexit. Whilst the Act makes no legal requirement for Scotland to keep pace with EU law, the intention behind it was clear and Scottish Ministers explicitly stated that the goal of this legislation was to keep EU environmental standards in Scots law. We have a legal, political, and moral obligation to move forward and criminalise ecocide in Scotland.
Before Nicola Sturgeon resigned as First Minister, I asked her if she supported the moves taken towards criminalising ecocide at an EU level. You can see the positive response from the former First Minister, supporting the law in principle here. https://www.ecocidelaw.scot/blog/monica-lennon-asks-the-first-minister-if-she-supports-criminalising-ecocide-in-scotland
Following the election of a new First Minister in Scotland, I have submitted a written question to the Scottish Government, asking what it intends to do in response to the latest EU developments.
Meanwhile, I will continue my work in campaigning for an ecocide law in Scotland and fight to protect our planet. We cannot delay. We need to stop ecocide everywhere, now.
To get involved, sign up at https://www.ecocidelaw.scot/