RTL Today – France: France to punish “ecocides” with up to 10 years

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                        La France rendra de graves dommages intentionnels à l'environnement passibles de 10 ans de prison dans le cadre du projet de loi "écocide", ont déclaré les ministres du gouvernement dans des propos publiés dimanche.
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The law was a recommendation of a Citizen’s Climate Convention, a group created by the government a year ago, bringing together 150 people from the French population to discuss the environment.

An “ecocidal” offense would be punished with fines of up to 4.5 million euros ($ 5.3 million) or up to 10 years in prison for “intentional violation” of environmental laws, said the Minister of Justice Eric Dupont-Moretti and the Minister for the Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili told the weekly JDD.

“We are going to create a general pollution offense,” Dupont-Moretti said. “The punishment will be staggered according to the author’s intentions. ”

The aim was to fine violators of environmental laws “up to 10 times the profit they would have made by dumping waste in the river,” he said.

The French constitution did not allow such actions to be called “crimes”, just misdemeanors, Dupont-Moretti said.

France will also add an offense called “endangering the environment” to its statutes, Pompili said, under which potential violators could be punished even before committing acts of illegal pollution.

Environmental expertise within French justice will be strengthened to allow courts to improve their handling of pollution cases and civil lawsuits, in particular by creating special environmental courts, said Dupont-Moretti.

The citizens’ convention submitted 149 proposals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to President Emmanuel Macron, who said he would convert 146 of them into government policy.

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