Pope calls for Ecocide law
« Ecocide » should be a fifth category of crimes against peace at the international level.
On Friday 15th November 2019, in the Vatican, at a meeting of the International Association of Penal Law, one of the oldest-established legal associations in the world, Pope Francis proposed that ‘sins against ecology’ be added to the Catholic teachings - and then went a step further, saying « ecocide” should be a fifth category of crimes against peace at the international level.
The Pope described acts that « can be considered as ‘ecocide’: the massive contamination of air, land and water resources, the large-scale destruction of flora and fauna, and any action capable of producing an ecological disaster or destroying an ecosystem ».
« By ‘ecocide’ we should understand the loss, damage or destruction of ecosystems of a given territory, so that its’ enjoyment by the inhabitants has been or may be severely affected. This is a fifth category of crimes against peace, which should be recognized as such by the international community. »
As Greenpeace observes on the subject in their latest Unearthed newsletter: « as the international legal and banking systems slowly toy with the idea of making environmental harm some kind of crime/metric of failure the Pope has decided to get ahead of the game. »