Kate Mackintosh and Lisa Oldring, Watch this Space: Momentum Toward an International Crime of Ecocide, Just Security (December 5, 2022)

With the increasing urgency of the gobal climate crisis, a growing number of States and other stakeholders – including parliamentarians, corporate investors, global youth, the UN Secrretary General and others- believe that ecocide should also be defined as a crime under internaitonal law, alongside genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. This article explains that most serious enviornmental damage is not covered under existing definitions of international crime and demonstrates that there have been state support for an international crime of ecocide, such as from Vanuatu and the Maldives. It then identifies the challenges and implications of criminalizing ecocide at the ICC before closing upon the idea that there is an appetite for legal avenues to address environmental destruction and climate change and the conversation about the crime of ecocide is already having an impact, including amonst insurers, investors and businesses.