We had a fantastic time welcoming Polly Higgins to Malta, as she travels around the world speaking about Eradicating Ecocide. We hosted Polly at the Grassy Hopper for a night of learning about Ecocide and Earth Laws. A massive thanks to those who came and participated in the discussion...for those of you that missed it, this is a little bit about Polly and the Eradicating Ecocide Initiative.
Polly is a lawyer who after many years working in London had a moment when she realised that the Earth needed a really good lawyer. She took a year out, (which became a lot more than a year) to really dive into what a law to protect the earth would look like.
You could say that the earth is now Polly's only client ;)
Polly's journey took her all around the world and into the ins and outs of what a law to protect the earth could look like, and how it could work on a practical level. In 2010 she submitted a proposal to the UN to amend the Rome Statute to include an International Crime of Ecocide.
The Rome statute is one of the most powerful documents in the world, and it is where the current laws against genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity are legislated against.
The addition of the law against ecocide would have a dramatic and very much required change in our paradigm. It will create a duty of care for the earth and a prevention of mass environmental destruction that will also be transposed into national regulations.
Currently businesses have a legal duty to put the interests of their shareholders first, making the maximisation of profit the overriding objective. However if serious environmental damage is outlawed, this maximisation of profit would have to be carried out within different perimeters. Banks, investors and shareholders will not expect or allow their companies to conduct criminal affairs to make profit, so Ecocide Law will turn off the tap of funds to activities which destroy the earth. Just as shareholders will not invest in companies making money off genocide or other criminal activities, businesses post ecocide law will be discouraged from harming the environment by the very people who are currently making money off it happening.
It will in turn cause investment to be channeled to cleaner businesses activities. Activities which provide solutions to environmental issues.
The idea of a law preventing Ecocide is right up our street at The Grassy Hopper. We are all about businesses being a force for good, and trying to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible. So having Polly with us for a few days has inspired us further on our mission to be a Conscious Business. In fact we already have a few ideas up our sleeve, so keep your eye out for those!
Polly's latest book Dare To Be Great will also be on offer from The Grassy Hopper Gzira Outlet through heart to heart funding, as of next week.