Earth is our Business takes forward the argument of Polly Higgins’ first book, Eradicating Ecocide. This book proposes new Earth law, but it is also about something more than law: it advocates a new form of leadership which places the health and well-being of people and planet first. Polly Higgins shows how law can provide the tools and be a bridge to a new way of doing business. She argues, in fact, that Earth is the business of us all, not the exclusive preserve of the executives of the world’s top corporations.
Expanding on the proposal in her first book to make Ecocide an international crime, this book sets out the institutional framework for sustainable development and international environmental governance. It proposes new rules of the game to transform our economies, energy supplies and political landscape in a radical, but practical, way. The implications of Polly Higgins’ proposal are far-reaching and profound.
Like her award-winning first book, Earth is our Business is written for anyone who is engaging in the new and emerging discourse about the future of our planet and sustainable development. Instead of merely examining the problem, Earth is our Business sets out a solution: new rules of the game. They are, says Polly Higgins, a new set of laws based on the sacredness of all life.
Included as appendices are a draft Ecocide Act, a proposal for revising World Bank investment rules, and the indictment used in the mock Ecocide Trial held in the UK Supreme Court in September 2011.
Polly Higgins was a barrister and international environmental lawyer who demystified our environmental crises from a legal perspective. Advocating a crime of ecocide – ‘extensive damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems’ she had one basic overriding tenet, first do no harm. The Ecologist Magazine voted her one of the ‘Worlds Top 10 Visionary Thinkers’, she was nominated ‘The Lawyer for Planet Earth’ by the 2010 Performance Awards. In 2016 she won the prestigious Swedish prize Utstickarpriset.
Keywords: Sustainable development, Environmental Governance, Environmental law