Bishop Geoff Davies from the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute says Ecocide should be within ICC’s jurisdiction

On May 19 2021 The Business Day, South Africa’s premier daily business newspaper, publish a letter from Bishop Geoff Davies:

”SA’s energy ministry needs to wake up and smell the human, social and environmental degradation caused by gas and coal.

“The move to get ecocide — the destruction of the natural environment by deliberate or negligent human action — into the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is rightly growing apace.

If SA’s energy ministry continues to hinder the rollout of renewable energy — the most effective, least cost, maximum employment option — in favour of Karpowership gas and [local[ coal, he will be a prime candidate to be charged with ecocide at the ICC (“How the tender dice were loaded to favour expensive Karpowership gas”, May 17).

Maybe he will then wake up to the seriousness and huge cost implications, as well as human, social and environmental destruction, that affects SA and the world now — and, more importantly, will in future. Does he not know about melting ice caps, rising oceans, weather extremes, droughts, floods, forest fires and food crises?  

All these are going to become more extreme. The trouble is we cannot wait for the day when the ICC has ecocide jurisdiction. We have to reduce the burning of fossil fuels, not over the next 25 years, but this decade. Even the International Energy Agency has admitted the truth that countries need to move faster and more aggressively to cut planet-warming pollution.

SA simply cannot tie itself down to 20 years of powership pollution and using coal, especially as we are blessed with an abundance of renewable energy. We hope it will not take a court case to make mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe face the truth about global warming and the need for a sustainable, renewable future.”

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