Eradicating Ecocide: Laws and Governance to Stop the Destruction of the Planet ~ Polly Higgins


‘Eradicating Ecocide highlights the need for enforceable, legally binding mechanisms in national and international law to hold account perpetrators of long term severe damage to the environment. At this critical juncture in history it is vital that we set global standards of accountability for corporations, in order to put an end to the culture of impunity and double standards that pervade the international legal system. Polly Higgins illustrates how this can be achieved in her invaluable new book.’ Bianca Jagger, Founder and Chair of Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation

In Eradicating Ecocide, international environment lawyer and activist Polly Higgins sets out to demonstrate in no uncertain terms how our planet is fast being destroyed by the activities of corporations and governments, facilitated by ‘compromise’ laws that offer insufficient deterrence. She offers a solution that is radical but, as she explains with great competence and experience, absolutely necessary.

The recent Mexican Gulf oil spill is a compelling reminder of the consequences of un-checked ecocide. Higgins advocates the introduction of a new international law against Ecocide. It would become the 5th Crime Against Peace and would hold to account heads of corporate bodies that are found guilty of perpetrating ecocide.

The opportunity to implement this law represents a crossroads in the fate of humanity; we can accept this one change and in doing so save our ecosystem for future generations, or we can continue to destroy it, risking future brutal war over disappearing natural resources. This is the first book to explain that we all have a commanding voice and the power to call upon all our governments to change the existing rules of the game. Higgins presents examples of laws in other countries which have succeeded in curtailing the power of governments, corporations and banks and made a sudden and effective change, demonstrating that her proposal is not impossible.

Eradicating Ecocide is a crash course on what laws work, what doesn’t and what else is needed to prevent the imminent disaster of global collapse. Eradicating Ecocide provides a comprehensive overview of what needs to be done in order to prevent ecocide. It is a book providing a template of a body of laws for all governments to implement, which applies equally to smaller communities and anyone who is involved in decision-making.

Click here to browse inside.

earthrise : Big Thinker: Polly Higgins

In most countries the environment has no legal rights. Corporate CEOs and heads of state are not bound by law personally to look after the earth and clean up any mess they make. But environmental lawyer Polly Higgins is trying to change that.

Ecocide, the 5th Crime Against Peace: Polly Higgins at TEDxExeter

Dare to be great: Polly Higgins at TEDxWhitechapel

Barrister and activist known as ‘lawyer for the Earth’, Polly Higgins, tells her recent transformative experience taking time out walking in New Forest where she was awakened to her greater purpose and next steps in service of the Earth. She challenges us to ask the empowering questions: “How can we move from a place of dependency to a place of interdependency? How can we create a world of peace? How can I dare to be great?”

Polly Higgins, barrister, international lawyer and award winning author of Eradicating Ecocide, proposed to the United Nations in April 2010 a law of Ecocide to be classed as the 5th Crime Against Peace. Ecocide is defined as the mass “damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.”
Polly has been a vocal spokesperson on Earth Law for a number of years and is recognised as an expert in her field. Her first book, Eradicating Ecocide: Laws and Governance to Prevent the Destruction of our Planet is published by Shepheard-Walwyn, Winner of the Peoples Book Prize 2011 for non-fiction and book number 2, Earth is our Business, changing the rules of the game has been described as ‘groundbreaking’. No other author has addressed the heart of the problem and proposed how to change it into a solution by using law. Polly has now mounted a global campaign to have Ecocide recognised as the 5th Crime Against Peace.

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