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French President Emmanuel Macron has announced he will hold a referendum on whether to criminalize ‘ecocide’ – a term coined to describe human activity ‘that violates the principles of environmental justice’.
Macron has also pledged an extra €15bn (approximately $16.8 billion) over the next two years in an effort to help tackle the climate crisis.
At a meeting with the Citizens’ Commission for the Climate, the President accepted all 149 recommendations but three – which included a 110km speed limit on French roads and a suggested ‘dividend tax’ on investments.
According to The Guardian, he praised the commission for having ‘made the choice of putting ecology at the heart of our economic model’ and said he aims to implement the measures ‘immediately’.
Co-founder of the Stop Ecocide campaign Jojo Mehta said: “This is hugely significant. Macron is the first leader of a wealthy industrial nation – one of the G7 – to support an international crime of ecocide. Let’s hold him to it, and look to other countries to follow his example. This conversation is not going to go away.
“Making ecocide a crime will change the ground rules, closing the door to the destructive practices that have brought us to [a] climate and ecological emergency… and paving the way for healthier, safer ways of operating. It’s the bridge to a world where nature and humanity are both protected and can begin to recover – together.”