In an interfaith statement addressed to the UN Stockholm+50 international meeting, nearly 200 faith leaders and representatives of world religions called this week for criminalisation of ecocide.
The statement, “Faith Values and Reach – Contribution to Environmental Policy” is convened by the UNEP Faith for Earth Initiative. It is signed by people from more than 40 countries and a dozen religions, Indigenous cultures and wisdom traditions from around the world, including Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and multiple denominations of Christianity, such as the Lutheran World Foundation.
One of 10 calls to action from governments, UN entities, civil society, as well as the signatories own constituencies is to:
“Adopt and implement an Ecocide law* and promote the Faith for Ecocide Law initiative by FBOs; (Faith Based Organisations)”. (*as it was first mentioned at the Stockholm conference in 1972 by the Swedish prime minister Olof Palme).
The Faith for Ecocide Law initiative, which the statement is calling for promotion of, was launched in September last year by End Ecocide Sweden, Stop Ecocide International, the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm and the Christian Council of Sweden. The Church of Sweden expressed support for ecocide law already towards COP26.
“There is broad interreligious support for ecocide to be recognized as a crime in the Rome Statute. This is an important step, because so far companies and states can continue with their environmental destruction with impunity”, says Andreas Holmberg, bishop of Stockholm to Dage