The European Union has become the first international body to criminalise wide-scale environmental damage “comparable to ecocide”.
Late on Thursday, lawmakers agreed an update to the bloc’s environmental crime directive punishing the most serious cases of ecosystem destruction, including habitat loss and illegal logging, with tougher penalties. The revised EU law specifies which kinds of environmental activities are covered. These include water abstraction, ship recycling and pollution, the introduction and spread of invasive alien species, and ozone destruction.
The law introduces new penalties, ranging from prison sentences for individuals to exclusion from access to public funds for companies. Member states will also be able to choose whether to introduce fines for companies based on a proportion of their turnover (up to 5% depending on the crime) or fixed amounts of up to €40m (£35m).
Source: The Guardian