Related Rule
Australia
Practice Relating to Rule 45. Causing Serious Damage to the Natural Environment
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states:
It is prohibited to use methods or means of warfare which are intended or may be expected to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment and thereby jeopardise the survival or seriously prejudice the health or survival of the population. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 909.
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
Any method or means of warfare which is planned, or expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment and thereby jeopardise the survival or seriously prejudice the health of the population is prohibited. In this context, “long-term” means continuing for decades. Means or methods which are not expected to cause such damage are permitted even if damage results. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 713.
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
Any method or means of warfare which is planned, or expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment and thereby jeopardise the survival or seriously prejudice the health of the population is prohibited. In this context, “long-term” means continuing for decades. Means or methods which are not expected to cause such damage are permitted even if damage results. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 7.14; see also § 5.50.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states with regard to serious war crimes that are committed in the course of an international armed conflict:
268.38 War crime excessive incidental death, injury or damage
(2) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator launches an attack; and
(b) the perpetrator knows that the attack will cause:
(i) damage to civilian objects; or
(ii) widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment; and
(c) the perpetrator knows that the damage will be of such an extent as to be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated; and
(d) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty for a contravention of this subsection: Imprisonment for 20 years. 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.38, pp. 327–328.
Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the Criminal Code the war crimes defined in the 1998 ICC Statute, including launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause “widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment … of such an extent as to be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated” in international armed conflicts. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, § 268.38(2).
At the CDDH, Australia stated that the adoption of Article 48 bis of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 55) “might well fill a gap in humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts”. 
Australia, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/SR.20, 14 February 1975, p. 171, § 2.
During the negotiations on the 1977 Additional Protocol II at the CDDH, environmental aspects were first addressed at the initiative of Australia, which proposed the addition of an Article 28 bis concerning the protection of the natural environment, stressing that “destruction of the environment should be prohibited not only in international but also in non-international conflicts”. 
Australia, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XIV, CDDH/III/SR.20, 14 February 1975, p. 176, § 37.
In its oral pleadings before the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Australia stated that “in recent times the issue of the protection of the environment in armed conflict has been a particular international concern” and referred to a number of international treaties including the relevant provisions of the 1976 ENMOD Convention, the 1977 Additional Protocol I and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. It stated that these instruments provided “cumulative evidence that weapons having … potentially disastrous effects on the environment, and on civilians and civilian targets, are no longer compatible with the dictates of public conscience reflected in general principles of humanity”. 
Australia, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 30 October 1995, Verbatim Record CR 95/22, § 31.
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) prohibits environmental modification techniques. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 409.
The manual adds:
Australia, as a signatory to the [1976 ENMOD Convention], has undertaken not to engage in any military or hostile use of environmental modification techniques which would have widespread, long lasting or severe effects as the means of destruction, damage or injury to any other state which is a party to the Convention. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 714 and 545(e).
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
4.11 Environmental modification techniques having widespread, long lasting or severe effects are prohibited …
7.15 Australia, as a signatory to the UN’s Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification … Techniques [1976 ENMOD Convention], has undertaken not to engage in any military or hostile use of ENMOD techniques which would have widespread, long lasting or severe effects as the means of destruction, damage or injury to any other state which is a party to the Convention. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 4.11 and 7.15; see also § 5.50.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
In 1992, in its opening statement, Australia, presiding the Second ENMOD Review Conference, questioned
whether the protection afforded by the Convention should be restricted to the States parties and whether activities such as deliberate “low-tech” environmental damage came within its purview. The absence so far of any accusations that the provisions of the Convention had been violated could be interpreted as meaning that its scope was so narrow that it had little practical application. 
Australia, Statement at the Second ENMOD Review Conference, Geneva, 14–21 September 1992, United Nations Disarmament Yearbook, Vol. 17, 1993, p. 229.