Environmental Justice and the Possibilities for Environmental Law
49 Environmental Law 229 (2019)
20 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2019 Last revised: 9 Jul 2019
Date Written: 2019
Climate change and extreme inequality combine to cause disproportionate harms to poor communities throughout the world. Further, unequal resource allocation is shot through with the structures of racism and other forms of discrimination. This Essay explores these phenomena in two different places in the United States, and traces law’s role in constructing environmental and economic vulnerability. The Essay then proposes that solutions, if there are any to be had, lie in expanding our notions of what kinds of laws are relevant to achieving environmental justice, and in seeing law as a possible tactic for instigating broader social change but not as a sole means of achieving it. To achieve environmental justice, it will take first more than environmental law, and then more than law.
Keywords: environmental justice, climate change, poverty, race, indigenous peoples, American Indians, progress, pollution
JEL Classification: K10, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation