I edit for the Earth Law Center. They are based in New York but support Earth Law activities around the world.
The basic principle behind Earth Law is rights. Humans have rights and corporations have rights. So why shouldn’t nature have rights too?
Under Earth Law, nature has the right to exist and develop. A river is not just a resource that humans can use, it is a legal entity with its own right to just “be”.
I think Earth Law is a good idea because it promotes change at a national and international level. It removes the daily pressure on consumers to make hundreds of ethical decisions about how to live and what to buy.
We can use very simple language to talk about Earth Law because this legal system is about community. Supporters of Earth Law believe that humans and other animals are equals and neighbours. Every community member has the right to thrive.
If you have ever truly experienced community, you will realise that living in one is not simple or straightforward. The rights of individual community members come into conflict all the time.
So, although we can describe Earth Law in a simple way, it is a complex legal system. Lawyers working in the area understand that rights-based law requires hard decisions.
Earth Law is about ensuring that our thriving is not at the expense of the environment we all depend upon.