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French Climate and Resilience Law: What Effect Does It Have On Environmental Criminal Law? – Environment

French Climate and Resilience Law: What Effect Does It Have On Environmental Criminal Law? – Environment

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Law No. 2021-1104, August 22, 2021, on climate change
The ability to adapt to change and strengthen resilience to its effects (the
“Climate and Resilience Law”, adopted July 20, 2021
On August 24, 2021, it was promulgated. Its provisions are based on
The Citizens’ Climate Convention proposals. The final
Text includes 305 Articles in 8 titles. Some provisions came into
force as soon as Climate and Resilience Law were promulgated.
Other measures will be in place in 2022, 2023 and 2025.

This article will focus on the most recent developments in
Environmental criminal law

The Climate and Resilience Law is a law that increases the severity of climate change.
Existing penalties in environmental matters (for instance, marine pollution)
Pollution: Article L.218-11, Article L.218-34, Article L.
218-48; Article 218-6; Article 218-73 of French
Environmental Code) or illegal activities at protected sites
(Article L.331-26 and L.331-27 of the French Environmental Code).
You commit an offense of endangering environment and an anassassination.
To damage the environment.

Intention to endanger the environment

Article 279 of Climate and Resilience Law was amended to make it an offense
to endanger the environment in non-compliance
Specific environmental requirements may apply

It is important to remember that the French Environmental Code was already in force
Includes an article that punishes serious injury to the health
Safety of people, or serious harm that has resulted in a substantial
Degradation of fauna or flora, as well as the quality and quantity of the air, soil
Or water.

Particularly, Article L. 173-3 in the French Environmental Code

If they have caused serious harm to the safety or health of others
The fauna has been significantly degraded or destroyed by people.
Flora refers to the quality of the air and soil, as well as the water.

1 The building of a structure and operating it are two different things.
facility, carrying on works or participating in an activity subject
Without authorization, registration, declaration regime
The administrative authority has set the requirements.
Two years imprisonment and a 75,000-pound fine are possible.

2 The actions set forth in Article L. 173-1
Article L. 173-2-I is punishable with three years’ imprisonment
A fine of 150,000 Euros;

3 The actions described in Article L. 173-2II are
You could be sentenced to five years in prison and a $300,000 fine

This includes the offenses that result from operating a “classified.”
Facility for the Protection and Preservation of the Environment
(Installation Classe pour la Protection de
(or “ICPE” in French)
“Facilities, structures and works”
(Installations, Ouvrages, Travaux et
(or “IOTA”, in French)
Authorization or in violation of a requirement
(authorization, closure, and so on) or in the absence thereof.
Following the cessation or suspension of an activity (Article L.173-1
French Environmental Code or the offenses related to continuing an
Without requiring authorization, operation or activity of a facility/structure
Respecting a formal notice (Article L.173-2 of the French
Environmental Code).

Three provisions are included in the Climate and Resilience Law
Allowing criminal sanctions for environmental damage to be imposed
But for the risk of environmental harm.

It creates a new Article L.173-3-1 in French
According to the Environmental Code:

They expose water, fauna, and flora directly
quality to an immediate and lasting risk of serious and permanent harm,
Actions provided for in Articles L.173-1 and L.173-2 are
You could be sentenced to three years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
Euros, this amount could be increased to three-times the benefit
Resulting from the commission of the offense.

This Article defines “permanent” as a term that is considered to be lasting.
Any harm that is likely to last at most seven years.

The French Criminal Code, Article 131-38, first paragraph
Code only applies to fines in absolute terms

The criminal penalties include a similar provision.
Non-compliance of waste regulations (Article L.541-46, X).
French Environmental Code and for the transportation of hazardous substances
Materials (Article L.1252-5, II of French Transport Code).

It is to fear that this time-line will make any
As it is likely to be, attempts to describe the offense are futile.
There have been endless discussions about the potential duration of harm.
Article L.173-3 requires only a substantial amount,

Infliction on the environment

Article 280 is the Climate and Resilience Law that was created in Book II
The French Environmental Code is dedicated to aquatic environments
Title III, General Damage to Physical

It is important to note that the new Title III was not inserted.
The Book is devoted to water and it is confusing because it contains
Infractions that are not specifically related to this environment. Indeed, air,
Even species and waste that are not in physical environments can be recycled
They are also concerned.

The three new offenses that Title III has defined concern the
Pollution of biological and physical environments, abandonment
to dispose of waste and ecocide (where there’s an element of intent).

General offense of polluting biological and physical

The Climate and Resilience Law creates an entirely new offense
Polluting the Environment (Article L.231-1 of French)
The Environmental Code) can be used to qualify for ecocide
If there is an element (Article L. 231-3 French)
Environmental Code).

Article L.231-1, French Environmental Code, is a good example.

“The fact that in manifestly deliberate violation a
Particular safety or prudential obligation required by law
Regulation, of emitting into air, throwing, spilling, or letting
Flow into underground or surface waters, or into seawaters.
Limits of territorial waters directly or indirectly one
More substances have serious reactions or actions to them
Long-lasting adverse effects on health, flora and fauna, with the exception of rare cases
Articles L. 238,-73 and L. 432-2, respectively.
There have been serious changes to the water supply.

The penalties applicable are “Five years
Penalty and a fine up to one million euros may be possible.
Increased up to five-fold the benefit derived by the
Conviction of the offense

Some restrictions may apply:

  • It does not apply for discharges into water
    Articles L. 218-7 and L. 342-2, i.e., damage, are mentioned.
    respectively, aquatic pollution having an effect on aquatic fauna
    and the flora and fish fauna
  • It does not apply to air emissions if they are below the legal limit.
    Limit values established by the competent administrative
    Authority is exceeded
  • Concerning authorized discharge operations, and the use
    Authorized substances: This applies only in the case of
    Non-compliance of the requirements established by the competent
    administrative authority.

It is further stated that “Negative effects on
The ability to prevent or minimize damage to fauna or flora that is likely to last at most
7 years is considered to last.
“. “.
Limitation period for this offenseStart
Running from the discovery of the damage

Abandoning waste is an offense

A new offense, which is specific to the abandonment of, can also be committed.
Waste is created (Article L.231-2 French Environmental
Code) which can also qualify for ecocide qualification if necessary
is an element of intention (Article L. 231-3 in the French
Environmental Code).

This offense targets:

The act of abandoning, depositing, or causing to be
deposited waste that is not in compliance with Title IV, Chapter I
Book V and the fact that managing waste is defined in Article L.
541-1-1, but without meeting the requirements regarding the
Charge conditions, including quantities and characteristics
The waste and the treatment methods used, as described in
Application of Articles L.541-2-1 and L.541-2-1, L.541-2-1 and L.541-7-2, L.
541-21-1 or L. 541-22, which cause significant degradation
The fauna and flora, or the quality or air, soil or

The applicable penalties are three-years imprisonment and a $500 fine.
Fine of 150,000 euros

The time limit for this offense to be prosecuted
The discovery of the begins the running
Do you have damage?

Offense of ecocide

These two offenses are general pollution of physical
Biological environments on one hand and the abandonment of all waste on the other
On the other hand, they are ecocide if they have been
Intentionally committed (Article L. 231-3 in the French).
Environmental Code).

It is important to note that discussions on ecocide were held
Very lively

See Also

In France, ecocide was first defended.
By a 2019 bill. Ecocide is defined as “Any
Consensus and deliberate action tend to directly cause
An ecosystem can sustain irreversible and widespread damage.
Committed with full knowledge of the consequences
“, would’ve
Been punishedInter aliaA fine of 20%
The previous financial year’s total worldwide turnover

This idea was adopted by the Citizens’ Initiative.
The Climate Convention had defined ecocide to be “Any
Participation in activities that have caused serious ecological damage has been condemned
The conscious and not-negligible crossing of planetary boundaries
With full knowledge of the consequences, I committed to it
These are the ones that cannot be ignored.

The definition was greatly modified in the end.

Article L. 231-3 is the French Environmental Code.
As follows:

Article L. 231-1 – The offense
If the actions are taken, it is considered ecocide

Article L. 231-2,
When they lead to ecocide, they are also considered intentional.
Serious and long-lasting damage to the quality, flora, fauna, or health
Water, soil, and air

The penalties are:Increased to ten year’s
” and “This is a total of 4.5 million euros
You can increase the amount up to tenfold the benefit from the
Conviction of the offense

Harmful or harmful effects on health, damage to flora or fauna, or
The quality of soil, surface or groundwater that is likely to be
Last at least seven years
” are considered

The statute of limitations is “final”Starts running from
The time that the damage is discovered.

The limitation period for this offense prosecution is also important.
The discovery of the begins the running
Do you have damage?


The scope of the offenses overlaps with the final sentence.
that of certain offenses: For instance, the offenses
Water pollution and the abandonment of waste in aquatic environments
(Article L.216-6 French Environmental Code or the offense
to dispose of waste (Article L.541-46, 4 of French
Environmental Code).

Concerning the general limit of pollution of physical and
It is not a matter of aggravating the biological environment.
Previous offenses of polluting aquatic environments and extending
It is to air pollution, and soil pollution being exempt.

Ecocide recognition is mostly symbolic. The following are some of the reasons why ecocide is so popular.
The required duration of the effects (7 year) and the intentionality
One can imagine the requirement (which will be difficult to define),
It will be difficult to prove this offense.

It is important that you note that the offenses mentioned above can be committed only once.
(as provided for in Articles 173-3 and 231-1 to 231-3 of the
French Environmental Code (referred to above) may be applied by the court.
In addition to a fine and imprisonment, the convicted must also be released.
person to begin the restoration of the natural world
Within the framework of Article L. 173-9
cited Code (Article L. 231-4 du French Environmental Code).

Finally, it should be noted that Article 288 of The Climate and
Resilience Law provided a legal framework for Bureau of
Investigation and Analysis of Industrial RisksBureau
d’Enqutes et d’Analyses sur les Risques
(or “BEA-RI” if you prefer French) that had been
Following the Lubrizol accident in Sept 2019, this was created.

Click here to read in French

This article is meant to be a guide.
guide to the subject matter Expert advice should be sought
Learn more about your particular circumstances.

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