Barbara Pompili and Eric Dupond-Moretti announce this Sunday a reform project creating an offense of ecocide to punish the most serious attacks on the environment.
"We will include in our law reinforced penalties for environmental damage, more effective controls and a more specialized operation of justice," said the Minister of Ecological Transition in an interview in the Journal du dimanche, alongside his colleague.
The government is responding to a strong demand from the Citizen's Climate Convention, but according to the JDD, the project was already "in the pipeline".
"The ecological transition cannot be done without the help of the courts," says Eric Dupond-Moretti.
Up to 4.5 million euros in fines
A "general pollution offense" would be punishable by three to ten years' imprisonment and fines ranging from 375,000 euros to 4.5 million euros.
"In the most serious cases, an intentional offense having caused irreversible damage to the environment, we can speak of an ecocide offense", continues the Minister of Justice.
Another offense, of "endangering the environment", aims to "penalize the deliberate endangerment of the environment by deliberate breaches of an obligation".
The maximum penalty is one year in prison and a fine of 100,000 euros.
The creation of these offenses will be accompanied by a reorganization of justice, with the establishment of specialized courts.
"In each court of appeal, there will be a specialized court, competent both in civil matters, for compensation for damage for example, and in criminal matters", underlines Eric Dupond-Moretti.
The government also announced the creation of posts of assistants specializing in environmental matters and the status of judicial police officer for environmental inspectors.