THE MACRONOMETER – A general offense of pollution and an offense of endangering the environment will be introduced. A reform rated 3/10 by the liberal think-tank iFRAP.
Getting the crime of ecocide recognized has been the dream of environmental associations since the 1990s. This “crime” was one of the proposals of the Citizen’s Climate Convention. A concept rejected by the Senate in May 2019, because it is too vague and too broad. And to that was added a potential risk of unconstitutionality.
Finally, two new offenses will be introduced: a general offense of pollution and an offense of endangering the environment. The Minister of Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, triumphantly announced: “The sword of justice will finally fall on the bandits of the environment”.
And the sentences are going to be harsh. Even unintentional, these crimes will be reprehensible and the penalties provided will be heavy. Even recklessness or accident will be punishable: individuals, companies and the State can be heavily condemned. Already today, activities and attacks on the environment are punishable by law, with penalties ranging from one to two years in prison and a fine of 75,000 to 100,000 euros.
For the “pollution offense“, Tomorrow the fines may be pronounced from 375,000 to 4.5 million euros with sentences of 3 to 10 years imprisonment. For the “offense of endangering the environment”, The fines will be 100,000 euros and the penalties, one year in prison. An obligation to repair will also be requested.
If Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan or Vietnam have enshrined ecocide in their law, no European country has. Belgium is thinking about it, but only for the member countries of the International Criminal Court to examine “the possibility of introducing the so-called ecocide crimesIn the treaty.
Add standard to standard
France is therefore clearly in the process of adding the standard to the standard in the country which has the most. Who will therefore want to set up a factory in France? Build a building there? On pain of ending up in prison for ecocide? According to the 2018 World Economic Forum ranking, in terms of administrative burden to set up a factory, we are already 107th out of 140 countries …
A significant number of surveys are already required, depending on the terrain, fauna and flora. Future factories must respect the biodiversity of the area and ensure France’s environmental ambition. This is reflected from the planning authorization, and the building permit and the work do not begin until the environmental survey has been carried out and the preventive archeology diagnosis has been granted, which can take around 12 months, compared to 3 to 6 in the Netherlands or Spain. With the ecocide offenses, will add new constraints and fears.
As we can see, this concept of ecocide is too vague and its penalties too heavy but, above all, its impact on the French economy will be considerable. It is neither more nor less than an extension “criminalizedOf the precautionary principle which is already causing a lot of damage to our economy. The offense of ecocide will necessarily restrict even more innovation and employment in France even though the subject of reindustrialisation is in everyone’s speech. In addition, the system does not provide for a principle of reciprocity to protect French products from products from countries that do not meet the same level of competitive requirements. How economicidal will ecocide be?
The Macronometer, observatory of government reforms, is a website of the iFRAP Foundation in partnership with Le Figaro. This is a tool dedicated to the evaluation of Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term: econometric evaluation in relation to his electoral program and the announcements of his government. With The Macronometer, the government’s action is rated out of 10 every Wednesday during the Council of Ministers and becomes readable at a glance. The Macronometer allows everyone to form an opinion on whether or not the President of the Republic’s promises are kept and on the effectiveness of the government’s reforms.