Sustainability as a Means of Improving Environmental Justice

36 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2012 Last revised: 23 Jul 2015

Patricia Salkin

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

John C. Dernbach

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Donald A. Brown

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

This article explains why environmental justice provides much of the foundation for sustainable development, and shows how sustainability can improve our ability to achieve environmental justice. The article first explains a basic but often unrecognized truth about environmental policy: environmental pollution and degradation, sooner or later, harms humans. Both sustainable development and environmental justice respond to this problem, though in somewhat different ways. Sustainable development, however, suggests a broader set of tools to address this problem than are often employed for environmental justice. The article shows how four broad approaches — more and better sustainability options, law for sustainability, visionary and pragmatic governance, and an American movement for sustainability — can enrich and strengthen the quest for environmental justice. These approaches are taken from a 2012 book, Acting as if Tomorrow Matters: Accelerating the Transition to Sustainability, to which the authors of this article contributed.

Keywords: sustainable development, sustainability, environmental justice, Acting as if Tomorrow Matters, environmental law, economic development, pollution, green jobs, energy efficiency, social movement

JEL Classification: D63, K32, K33, O13, O20, Q01, Q20, Q28, Q30, Q38, Q54

Suggested Citation

Salkin, Patricia and Dernbach, John C. and Brown, Donald A., Sustainability as a Means of Improving Environmental Justice (2012). 19 J. of Sustainability and Envtl. Law 1 (2012); Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-20; Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 14-17. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2183260

Patricia E. Salkin

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center ( email )

225 Eastview Drive
Central Islip, NY 11722
United States

John C. Dernbach (Contact Author)

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

Donald A. Brown

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

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