Politics, economy and environmental crime

Walters, Reece (2007). Politics, economy and environmental crime. Criminal Justice Matters, 70(1) pp. 27–28.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09627250708553687


Issues pertaining to the protection of the planet continue to capture media headlines and provoke public and political debate. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has referred to global warming as a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ (IPCC, 2007). However, such earth threatening issues are not confined to legal processes of industrial development but are also found in the increasing amount of environmental crime. For many, the destruction of natural habitats and the pollution of oceans, waterways and the atmosphere is a global catastrophe; for others (including certain States and corporations) it is a necessary bi-product of commercial profit and capital accumulation. The challenge for environmental protection and regulation is that it often competes or is superseded by trade law – whereby economic prosperity and quality of human life is viewed as a paramount political and social objective.

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