I was lucky enough to be able to corner Polly Higgins- an environmental lawyer campaigning to make serious environmental destruction a crime- for 25 minutes during an event in Manchester for a quick interview which wasas published in Green Prophet. Here’s an excerpt:
Polly Higgins is a lawyer on a mission to bring serious environmental destruction to an end. Whilst this may seem ambitious, she insists that using the legal system to outlaw environmental crimes can make a real difference.
Voted by the Ecologist as one of the ‘World’s Top 10 Visionary Thinkers’, she has submitted a proposal to the United Nations to make the crime of ‘Ecocide’- or extensive environmental destruction- the 5th Crime Against Peace alongside genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression.
Polly: It’s also about asking the very important and powerful question about whose interest we’re protecting. The current Ratcliffe trail in the UK where twenty activists were taken to court just for planning to close down Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal power station is a very interesting example of the need to ask ‘whose interest were protecting by criminalising their activity?’ What the activists were trying to do is highlight the creation of excessive carbon emissions by the power station which is threatening our lives; so whose interests are protected by the UK’s legal system? Well clearly it’s corporate interests that are protected as it’s those twenty activists who have been criminally prosecuted. So, it’s a crucial question to ask yourself whose interests are being protected in any given situation: corporate, governmental, peoples or planet. And it’s very easy to see that it’s usually corporate interest that are being served and not the people or the planet.
See full interview here.