Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who visited Kyiv last week to draw attention to the environmental damage caused by the Ukraine war, criticized the world’s response to the June 6 collapse of the giant hydroelectric Kakhovo dam, which killed 100 More people were killed and the entire southern part was flooded. Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine and the Kherson region.
The cause of the dam’s collapse has not yet been established, but Ukraine has blamed Russia for one of the biggest ecological disasters seen in Europe in decades.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the dam’s collapse as an “ecological bomb of mass destruction”. Zelensky called it a war crime and potentially criminal environmental destruction, or “ecocide”, estimating the cost of the dam’s collapse at 1.2 billion euros.
Many high-profile figures outside Ukraine also agree with the Ukrainian president. A Swedish climate activist told reporters that “ecology and environmental destruction are a form of war as the Ukrainians know very well from this point, and so does Russia.”
Thunberg said, “And that’s why they’re deliberately targeting the environment and people’s livelihoods and homes and destroying lives as well…”
As ecological disasters continue to occur across national borders around the world, criminal accountability is rare due to a lack of proper legislation and due process. But there has been a long-standing battle to recognize large-scale environmental destruction as an international crime and prosecute it in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Until now, international criminal law has focused mainly on crimes committed directly against people, but now experts believe that there is a gap when it comes to global law that causes the most serious damage to the environment.
In 2021, an expert panel drafted legislation that, if adopted, would add “ecological killing” as an ICC fifth crime, along with the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. will give
The panel defined ecocide as “unlawful or uncontrolled acts committed with the knowledge that those acts have a substantial likelihood of causing serious and widespread or long-term damage to the environment.”
CNN quoted Jojo Mehta as saying, “When you associate genocide with genocide, it also means that when we destroy the ecosystems upon which we essentially depend for our existence, So it is as bad, wrong, dangerous and serious as destroying people.” said Co-Founder and Executive Director of Stop Ecocide International.