Ecocide: towards a light version.
The Citizens' Convention proposed it, the government rejected it. It is, finally, the concept of "offense" of ecocide which was retained by the government and not the concept of "crime". Likewise, exit from "negligence" and "recklessness". These concepts will be replaced by “intentional destruction”, much more difficult to prove in a judicial way.
Even if the recognition of a “general pollution offense” is a notable advance in the fight against the endangerment of the environment, it is clear that we are far from the original text resulting from the Collective Agreement.
Has the government chosen to back down? Did he give in to pressure from industrialists and from Bercy, seeing in these measures a "judicialization of economic life"? All the ardent ecological activists are convinced of this and do not hide their bitterness.
However, the fact of creating an ecocide offense alone represents a great victory. A decisive step towards the path of taking water, air and soil into account.
Articles 63, 64 and 65 of the climate bill presented to the Council of Ministers propose the creation of a general pollution offense with the qualification of ecocide in the event of intentional destruction of the environment leading to serious and lasting effects on ecosystems (for at least ten years). The offense of ecocide will be punishable by 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of 4.5 million euros.
Article 63 : this article focuses on endangering the environment. "When they directly expose the fauna, flora or water quality to an immediate risk of serious and lasting harm, the acts provided for in articles L 173-1 and L 173-2 are punished by 3 years of imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 euros ". It is further reported that "the endangerment of the environment may be considered when the accused person violates, in a manifestly deliberate manner, a particular obligation of prudence or safety imposed by the law or the regulation which sets out the environment at an immediate risk of serious and lasting degradation, ie likely to last for at least 10 years. "
Article 64 : towards a general offense of water and air pollution. "The fact, in manifestly deliberate violation of a particular obligation of prudence or safety provided for by law or regulation, of emitting into the air, throwing, discharging or allowing to flow into surface water, underground or the waters of the sea within the limit of territorial waters, directly or indirectly, one or more substances whose action or reactions cause serious and lasting harmful effects on health, flora and fauna, with the exception of damage referred to in Articles L. 218-73 and L. 432-2, or serious modifications to the normal water supply regime, is punishable by five years' imprisonment and a fine of one million euros, this amount which may be increased up to five times the benefit derived from the commission of the offense. "
Article 65 : Intentionality of the facts to justify an ecocide. "The offenses provided for in Articles L. 230-1 and L. 230-2 constitute an ecocide when the acts are committed intentionally." "the penalty of five years 'imprisonment is increased to ten years' imprisonment" and "the fine of one million euros is increased to 4.5 million euros, this amount may be increased to ten times the advantage derived from the commission of the offense ".
Finally, article 65 provides that the court may require the convicted person to proceed with the restoration of the natural environment.