Earth is our Business takes forward the argument of Polly Higgins’ first book, Eradicating Ecocide. This book proposes new Earth law, but it is also about something more than law: it advocates a new form of leadership which places the health and well-being of people and planet first. Polly Higgins shows how law can provide the tools and be a bridge to a new way of doing business. She argues, in fact, that Earth is the business of us all, not the exclusive preserve of the executives of the world’s top corporations.

Expanding on the proposal in her first book to make Ecocide an international crime, this book sets out the institutional framework for sustainable development and international environmental governance. It proposes new rules of the game to transform our economies, energy supplies and political landscape in a radical, but practical, way. The implications of Polly Higgins’ proposal are far-reaching and profound.

Like her award-winning first book, Earth is our Business is written for anyone who is engaging in the new and emerging discourse about the future of our planet and sustainable development. Instead of merely examining the problem, Earth is our Business sets out a solution: new rules of the game. They are, says Polly Higgins, a new set of laws based on the sacredness of all life.

Included as appendices are a draft Ecocide Act, a proposal for revising World Bank investment rules, and the indictment used in the mock Ecocide Trial held in the UK Supreme Court in September 2011.


Author Details
Polly Higgins was a barrister and international environmental lawyer who demystified our environmental crises from a legal perspective. Advocating a crime of ecocide – ‘extensive damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems’ she had one basic overriding tenet, first do no harm. The Ecologist Magazine voted her one of the ‘Worlds Top 10 Visionary Thinkers’, she was nominated ‘The Lawyer for Planet Earth’ by the 2010 Performance Awards. In 2016 she won the prestigious Swedish prize Utstickarpriset.

You can read more about Polly Higgins on her author page.


“Higgins’ proposals are a source for inspiration for jurists, citizens, elders and politicians to refer to and work towards … Moderate change is simply not enough in a time of planetary and inter-generational and current social justice crisis. Polly Higgins’ interventions are most welcome. She should be encouraged to take matters forward.”
Richard Kotter, International Journal of Environmental Studies

“Historical awareness and sharp legal analysis make her narrative both informative and inspiring. None of this is for the fainthearted or the fatalist. Instead it is for those who are fed up to the back teeth with broken promises, vacuous commitments and stultifying inaction.”
Michael Mansfield, Resurgence – Read full review here.

From Reviews of Eradicating Ecocide
“[it] isn’t another wild diatribe against business – rather it is an examination of international law and how environmental protection has somehow been left by the wayside … [It] asks everyone to re-examine the legal framework within which we are attempting to accomplish this, and provides business leaders with a golden opportunity of making it happen.”
Chris Milton,