Scotland Times

Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

Polluters could face jail under MSP's ecocide plan

A proposed "ecocide" bill in the Scottish Parliament, which could result in major polluters facing jail sentences of up to 20 years.

The bill, put forward by Labour MSP Monica Lennon, aims to make Scotland the first part of the UK to enforce strict penalties for ecocide, defined as "unlawful or wanton acts" causing widespread environmental damage. This legislation is intended to deter and punish actions such as oil spills due to corporate negligence, deforestation, or illegal fishing.

Monica Lennon's bill includes a minimum jail sentence of 10 years for the crime of ecocide and a maximum of 20 years. She believes that such severe penalties are necessary to address the severe and irreversible environmental damage that could result from ecocidal acts.

The proposed legislation is part of a global movement to recognize ecocide as a crime, with 13 countries already having some form of ecocide laws. The bill is supported by organizations like Stop Ecocide International, which has backing from prominent figures like Greta Thunberg, Pope Francis, and Sir Paul McCartney.

The bill is currently in the consultation phase, and after the consultation ends, it would need the support of at least 18 MSPs to progress further in the Scottish Parliament. The government has also indicated its willingness to discuss the proposals.

In addition to the ecocide bill, the news mentions Scotland's participation in the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, with First Minister Humza Yousaf and a delegation of Scottish companies attending the event. It highlights the urgency of addressing climate change and the need for action to combat the environmental challenges faced globally.

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