Sustainability as a Means of Improving Environmental Justice
19 J. of Sustainability and Envtl. Law 1 (2012)
36 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2012 Last revised: 23 Jul 2015
Date Written: 2012
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: Suggested Citation