Climate law: deputies vote for the new offense of “ecocide”

The deputies in committee voted on the night of Thursday, March 19 the creation of a new controversial offense of“Ecocide”, among a battery of measures intended to strengthen the legal arsenal against environmental damage. The creation of this new offense, one of the flagship measures of the climate and resilience bill examined by a special committee, had been severely judged both by the members of the Citizen’s Climate Convention (CCC) and by the jurists of the Council of ‘State.

→ READ. Towards an ecocide offense: deciphering a notion

The first who had called for the creation of a “Crime” of ecocide, had awarded him the note of “2.7 / 10” when evaluating the transposition of the CCC proposals into the law. The second had pointed out the risk of unconstitutionality of this measure considered confusing and ill-crafted. In a special committee, however, the deputies only modified the drafting of the government project at the margin, despite an attempt to rewrite the co-rapporteur, the Modem Erwan Balanant, anxious to avoid the caudine forks of the Constitutional Council which will undoubtedly be seized of the text, once adopted by Parliament.

10 years in prison and 1 million euros fine

The Minister of Energy Transition, Barbara Pompili, opposed it to an end of inadmissibility by betting on the “Legal innovation” which presides over the measure. “The offenses of ecocide apply to the most serious attacks on the environment at the national level”, she explained. They provide for sentences of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of one million euros.

→ EXPLANATION. An “ecocide offense” to better prevent environmental damage

The crime of“Ecocide” is based on a strengthening of the penal sanctions applicable in the event of water, air and soil pollution but is characterized by the“Intentionality” of pollution.

New offense of endangering the environment

For diametrically opposed reasons, Mathilde Panot (La France insoumise) denounced ” regression “ considering that “Bercy”, anxious to protect companies in the face of new legal risks, had “Won the arbitrations”, while Julien Aubert (Les Républicains) mocked a new measure that he compared to “Potemkin village” with regard to the concept of the crime of ecocide debated for decades at the level of international justice. This one has been brandished about the drying up of the Aral Sea or the use of Agent Orange by the US military in Vietnam. “You take the storefront […] but there is nothing behind “, laughed Julien Aubert.

During this last evening of examination of the text in committee before its passage in the hemicycle from March 29, the deputies also created an offense “General” endangering the environment, punished by 3 years in prison and a fine of 300,000 euros.


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