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New ale celebrates the legacy of Polly Higgins

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On Friday 19th April, Stroud Brewery will launch their ‘Earth Protector Ale’, dedicated to the late environmental law pioneer and Stroud resident, Polly Higgins. The one-of-a-kind ale has been created as a special tribute marking the fifth anniversary of Polly’s passing and recognising her life’s work of using the law to secure environmental justice.

Polly founded Stop Ecocide International with friend, and now CEO, Jojo Mehta in 2017. Stop Ecocide International has since become a truly global organisation with 50 teams worldwide working to establish ecocide – the most severe and widespread forms of environmental destruction, such as vast oil spills or the clear-cutting of primary rainforests – as a crime at the International Criminal Court, alongside genocide.

Polly Higgins | New ale celebrates the legacy of Polly Higgins
Polly Higgins. Pic: Lupe de la Vallina.

The ale has been produced using climate-change resistant hops, which is part of an innovative trial with leading UK hop growers to secure supplies of beer and ale against the uncertainties of climate change, which is threatening crop supply. Stroud Brewery, whose slogan is ‘Change is Brewing’, prides itself on its approach to sustainability and is a certified B Corp and an enduring supporter of Polly and Stop Ecocide International’s work.

In the last 18 months, several countries, including Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Scotland, England, and the Netherlands have all proposed or are advancing domestic ecocide legislation. Jojo and her team also played a key role in advocating for the inclusion of ecocide in Belgium’s new penal code, which was successfully voted on in March. 

Notably, earlier this year, Stop Ecocide International achieved a significant milestone with the European Union’s decision to incorporate ‘crimes comparable to ecocide’ in its updated environmental crimes directive. This decision will mandate the enactment of legislation against ecocide-level offenses in all EU member states within the next two years.

Jojo Mehta, Co-founder of Stop Ecocide International said: “Polly was driven, determined and highly focused; she was also charismatic, charming and at times disarmingly mischievous.  She had certainly mastered her brief of persuading international lawyers, diplomats, and politicians of the importance of a new international crime of ecocide as a means of securing global protection against the most severe environmental harms; but she also had a wonderful sense of fun, and always remained committed to and grounded in the community she fostered here in Stroud. We threw some fantastic parties together!

“Polly would be delighted to see not only the remarkable growth of the movement she founded – highlighted by the recent EU adoption of offences “comparable to ecocide”, the global implications of which would not have been lost on her—but also to be celebrated in the place that she lived and loved by the people who loved her.”

Greg Pilley, Founder of Stroud Brewery, added: “We are deeply honoured to dedicate a brew of Earth Protector Ale (EPA, 4%) , to the memory and incredible legacy of Polly Higgins. We have supported this with a limited run of beer mats that direct drinkers to find out more about Stop Ecocide International and the global movement that Polly founded here in Stroud, the first self-declared Earth Protector Community. 

“With every sip, we raise a glass to her vision and commitment to a better and safer future for all of us, and for the living world we all depend upon.”

You can find EPA at: Woolpack, Slad, Crown & Sceptre, Stroud, and others.

Earth Protector Ale will be launched at Stroud Brewery on Friday 19th April. Doors open for the event at 6pm.

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