Kevin Jon Heller, Fiddling (With Ecocide) While Rome (and Everywhere Else) Burns, VOELKERRECHTSBLOG (Feb. 18, 2022)

This blog post is a response to the “Ecocide: Legal Revolution or Symbolism” post written by Romina Pezzot and Jan-Phillip Graf. Heller notes that he does not believe that the International Expert Panel (IEP) definition adequately protects the environment nor that it would be a legal revolution, because the definition provides a loophole with the balancing provisions. Lawful acts qualify as ecocide under the IEP definition only if, in addition to causing “severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment,” they are also wanton: committed “with reckless disregard for damage which would be clearly excessive in relation to the social and economic benefits anticipated.” Heller argues that the type of development allowed under this is not sustainable development. He states that the IEP definition of ecocide cannot remotely be considered ecocentric and its adoption may crystallize in ICL a standard whereby the environment is only worth protecting” when humans don’t have a good enough reason to destroy it.”