In a nod to the legacy of the late environmental lawyer and campaigner, Polly Higgins, Stroud has today become the first Earth Protector Town.

The Earth Protector Town scheme, an initiative from the Stroud-based Stop Ecocide campaign that Polly founded, officially launched today with the Gloucestershire town as its first signatory.

Outside Stroud's Subscription Rooms, Jojo Mehta of Stop Ecocide was joined by Stroud mayor, Cllr Kevin Cranston after Stroud Town Council unanimously voted to adopt the scheme earlier this week. 

The scheme, which is in its early stages, hopes to raise awareness of climate and ecological instability in order for towns to ulitmately become carbon neutral.

It also seeks to support the late lawyer's campaign for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to declare ecocide a crime. 

Stroud will be joined eight other towns which have pledged support to the pilot scheme. 

Jojo Mehta for Stop Ecocide said: "Stroud Town Council is leading the way towards a new framework for municipal life. Their pledge to become an Earth Protector Town and support Ecocide Law is a powerful first step.

Cllr Cranston added, "I am really pleased that Stroud is the place where the Earth Protector Town declaration is being launched, the result of collaborative work between the Earth Protector movement and the town council.

Together we have written a declaration that is realistic and deliverable by a small council such as ours. This can be scaled up by bigger councils and rolled out worldwide."

To learn more, visit the Stop Ecocide website here.


#EarthProtectorTown's five goals:

1. Produce a strategy and a date to achieve a carbon zero future.

2. Practice the movement from sustainable to regenerative living wherever possible.

3. Protect and enhance ecosystems, habitats and species in and around the town.

4. Pioneer the reduction and elimination of single use plastic.

5. Promote awareness of climate and ecological emergencies.