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‘Revolutionary’: EU criminalises the most serious cases of ecosystem

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Euronews or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The European Union has approved a groundbreaking update to its environmental crime directive, making it the first international body to criminalize severe environmental damage, akin to ecocide
• This directive encompasses ecosystem destruction, habitat loss, illegal logging, and more, introducing stringent penalties and potential prison sentences

🔭 The context: This legislation emerges as a response to the rapid growth of environmental crimes, which have been expanding two to three times faster than the global economy
• The inadequacy of previous EU and national laws to deter such crimes has led to this decisive action
• Environmental crimes, previously growing with little consequence, are now a significant focus of European legal reform

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: By criminalizing severe environmental offenses and establishing tough penalties, the EU aims to significantly deter actions that harm ecosystems and, consequently, human health
• This directive represents a critical step towards ending environmental impunity in Europe, signaling a major shift in the legal approach to environmental protection

⏭️ What's next: EU member states have a two-year window to incorporate this directive into their national laws
• The updated directive could revolutionize environmental accountability, making it clear that compliance with permits does not exempt one from criminal liability, especially if activities cause severe environmental or health damage

💬 One quote: "When implemented by the member states, operators must be aware that merely complying with a permit no longer frees them from criminal liability. And that is no less than a revolution," (Michael Faure, Professor of Environmental Law at Maastricht University)

📈 One stat: Environmental crimes are growing two to three times faster than the global economy, becoming the fourth largest criminal sector worldwide

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental sustainability

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