Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Questions (246)

John Lahart

Question:

246. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if he has spoken with his EU counterparts on the issue of ecocide; if his attention has been drawn to plans at EU level that would classify ecocide as a crime; his views on such a classification if introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17628/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The next ten years are critical if we are to address the climate and biodiversity crises which threaten our safe future on this planet. It is imperative that we protect our biodiversity and natural heritage against deliberate acts of systematic destruction of ecosystems, both nationally and globally.  Ireland engages actively through the European Union(EU) to support the development of ambitious global responses to these challenges, in particular, through the United Nations(UN). A number of UN Framework Conventions, particularly, on climate change (UNFCCC) and on biological diversity (UNCBD), provide mechanisms for international cooperation to tackle climate and ecological challenges, in particular, through the adoption of ambitious treaties and agreements such as the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Ireland recognises that multilateral responses are crucial to tackling environmental and climate-related challenges, and my Department engages with relevant EU and UN structures to support these objectives, both directly and through cross-departmental participation as appropriate, but has not had any engagement in relation to ecocide becoming a recognised crime in international law.