Published 27 July 2017
Justice in a climate-challenged world.
The combination of the terms ‘environment’ and ‘justice’ by the environmental justice movement has had a profound impact on how we understand each term. The ‘environment’ is, for many, about trees, rivers, species, the reef – the ‘big outside’, but as we start to expand our understandings of pollution and industrial impacts, what’s in our food, toxins and the body – we start to turn our concern to the ‘environment’ of our everyday lives.
In this way ‘Environmental justice’ has expanded our understanding of ‘justice’ as well. It is about inequity of some communities being exposed to more environmental bads and risk than others. It is also about the lack of recognition of, and respect for these communities; about the lack of participation and inclusion in decision-making, and the general threat to the very functioning of communities.These understandings of justice are not limited to the human realm but addresses our decimation of the functioning of the nonhuman realm as well.