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Working together on the environment and militarism

HK: There seems two different moves going on – the move to right wing ideas but also the environmental lobby is saying much more about bringing ‘peace and justice’ into the environmental movement.

MR: I would love WILPF to campaign for the inclusion of eco-crimes in the Rome Statute. There is a movement growing, and started by a woman called Polly Higgins. She is a barrister and she was pondering while she was waiting for a judgement, that the earth needs a lawyer to defend her. She has now developed the theory of ecocide and how it fits with international law and international criminal law and why it is that we should be able to prosecute CEOs of companies who pollute deliberately or with disregard to the consequences, knowing or should have known that their actions would lead to terrible environmental degradation. They should be before the ICC. That will encourage States to prosecute and they will have to bring that into their criminal legislation. It would make a huge difference and it’s not that complicated. For WILPF if this is a campaigning thing, perfect, let’s get behind it. Let’s push it through.

HK: That is an interesting issue that is worth looking at.

MR: Environmentalism and accountability.

HK: The WILPF UK autumn seminar was about climate change, environment and militarism. The environmental lobby is just thinking about this

MR: Yes they are dipping into our world and we can dip a bit into theirs – we don’t have to repeat what they do because they do an excellent job but what we are looking at as well is environmental degradation as a driver of militarism. You chop down a forest and you cause displacement, you chop down a forest to get money to buy tanks, you then you cut down the forest to see your enemy and flush them out and you don’t replant afterwards and then you have got a tiny bit of space for everyone to live on and that perpetrates the next conflict.

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