Prosecuting climate crimes as a matter of priority
Climate crimes are often intertwined with other serious international crimes. As a result of this link, as well through their impact on climate change, climate crimes may represent a threat to international peace and security and potentially affect all of humankind and the very foundations of civilization. Viewing climate crimes in this way should allow national and international authorities to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of these crimes.
For instance, although the International Criminal Court (ICC) cannot directly hear climate crimes, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC has stated - in its recent policy paper on case selection and prioritization - that war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide committed through, or resulting in, the destruction of the environment, the illegal exploitation of natural resources or the illegal dispossession of land warrant particular attention when selecting cases for investigation and prosecution before the ICC. The Office of the Prosecutor will also support national authorities who investigate and prosecute these crimes.