“It’s about how we harness our own life energy. Do we decide to remain complicit in a world that is destructive or decide that we will stand up collectively and align with a greater force? It’s a higher force, a higher energy that will protect the lives of millions in the future.” Polly Higgins

E159 – Polly Higgins on Ecocide, Climate Breakdown and Purposeful Living

Tipping Points Of Radical Change

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How do we harness our life force to protect the Earth?


“It’s about how we harness our own life energy. Do we decide to remain complicit in a world that is destructive or decide that we will stand up collectively and align with a greater force? It’s a higher force, a higher energy that will protect the lives of millions in the future.” Polly Higgins

This episode is a special tribute to Polly Higgins ‘Earth Lawyer’, a visionary barrister, author and environmental lobbyist, who devoted all her time to one client – the Earth. Since 2010, she lobbied the UN Law Commission to recognise ecocide as an international crime making the word “ecocide” globally understood inspiring parliamentarians, ecologists, lawyers to artists. It was a proposal Polly envisioned to become a powerful law to protect the Earth and its diverse ecologies and communities; an economical and political game changer. We initially aired this episode in late 2018, and Polly passed away shortly after. Polly’s life’s work continues to be of urgency to protect the future of this beautiful planet and its people.

Amisha and Polly speak about how Polly’s ecocide quest began with a powerful thought, ‘the Earth is in need of a good lawyer’, which crossed her mind whilst continuously witnessing big transnational corporations, fossil fuel extraction, Monsanto industrialised agriculture, ExxonMobil, causing massive destruction in the world. She describes this as a ‘critical choice point’ that called her to step into her higher life purpose.

Polly shares how international laws are created and how forging financial access to bring vulnerable Nations to the table of negotiations of ecocide laws became a vital part of her mission. She reveals that gifting culture and growing law literacy were the predominant modus operandi driving her teams’ mission to expand our communities of resilient Earth protectors. She describes it as aligning life forces with forces of law.

We learn that life presents all of us with tiny windows of opportunity to completely change our lives and that of those around us. These are tipping points of radical change where we can harness our life force to serve humanity and Earth; moments that honour altruistic motives, the things we deeply care about and believe in.

“If you care you can move mountains.” ~Polly Higgins



The campaign to make ecocide a crime was the life’s work of UK barrister and visionary the late Polly Higgins. She spent her last decade making the word “ecocide” globally understood by giving talks, making documentaries and advising governments. Along the way she inspired thousands, from parliamentarians to ecologists and from lawyers to artists. She devoted all her time and unquenchable spirit to one client – the Earth. Polly presented a definition of ecocide to the UN Law Commission in 2010 reading as follows: Ecocide is extensive loss, damage or destruction of ecosystems of a given territory(ies)… such that the peaceful enjoyment of the inhabitants has been or will be severely diminished. It was to this definition that Pope Francis referred in his call for ecocide to become a crime (November 2019).

Polly was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer in March 2019. She passed away peacefully just a month later on Easter Sunday 21st April. Her warmth, determination and positivity remained undimmed to the end, and she lived to see her call to Stop Ecocide taken to the streets by Extinction Rebellion. The team has grown rapidly since Polly’s departure and is now co-ordinated by her close colleague Jojo Mehta. We are fully committed to carrying this work forward – with your help and that of many thousands of Earth Protectors across the world.

Polly’s spirit lives in everyone who knows that serious harm to the Earth must be named – and prevented. It is our job to ensure that destroying nature becomes a crime. It won’t just be the law that changes then, but the whole course of history.


To support Polly’s vision, visit stopecocide.earth

To connect or work with Amisha, visit amisha.co.uk

artwork: Chris Burkhard


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