EU Takes Aim at Crimes Against Planet With 10-Year Jail Terms
(Bloomberg) -- European Union regulators are demanding decade-long jail terms as part of a crackdown on crimes against the bloc’s increasingly fragile environment.
The EU’s executive on Wednesday proposed new rules that extend the list of environment criminal offenses to include illegal timber trade, ship recycling or abstraction of water.
The proposals also include setting “a common minimum denominator” for sanctions and oblige EU nations to “provide at least for imprisonment of up to 10 years” in case the crimes “cause or are likely to cause death or serious injury.”
“We must use all possible means to protect the environment at Union level,” said Vera Jourova, the European Commission’s vice-president for values and transparency. “Criminal law is one of them.”
The crackdown comes as the EU seeks to be the world’s leader in the fight against climate change and has pledged to deepen its emissions reductions by at least 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels, a goal that has already become legally binding. While nations globally committed in 2015 to revise their pollution-cutting goals by 2020, almost a third haven’t done it yet.
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