Representing the Environment (Routledge Introductions to Environment Series)

Public International Law: International Environmental Law
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Recent scholarship has addressed and emphasized the multidimensionality of justice in EJ Holifield et al In addition to distributive justice, which remains an important focus of quantitative EJ analysis, a growing body of research now attends to procedural and participatory justice, justice as recognition, and justice as capabilities, as well as the interrelations among these dimensions Walker , Agyeman et al This focus issue of Environmental Research Letters provides an interdisciplinary and international forum for new conceptual, methodological, and empirical scholarship on EJ activism, research, and policy.

The 16 letters published in this focus issue encompass review articles that reflect on the endemic state of specific EJ concerns, as well as case studies that apply or extend previous EJ approaches to examine new issues, regions, and locations. In the process, it draws together a variety of environmental problems, social injustices, and geographic contexts, and highlights the salience of an EJ perspective to understanding nature-society linkages.

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The Psychology of Intelligence. Archived from the original on 5 September Hopkins Ed. January 5, We cited in Greek from knowledge and invented However bound up need us be in Jewish as war had short. In order to maintain this equilibrium, available resources must not be depleted faster than resources are naturally generated. Arguably, even though the origins of liberal institutionalist scholarship on regimes lay elsewhere, many of its major developments have been located within the environmental field Haas et al.

Specifically, the letters in this focus issue advance EJ research in three important ways: 1 demonstrating how environmental injustice emerges through particular policies and political processes; 2 exploring environmental injustices associated with industrialization and industrial pollution; and 3 applying the EJ framework to document disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards in specific urban landscapes across the world.

While EJ research has traditionally focused on issues of distributive justice, several letters in this focus issue extend EJ scholarship through a critical assessment of environmental policies, procedural issues, and regulatory frameworks.

Focus on environmental justice: new directions in international research

Dobbie and Green's research considers the effectiveness of Australia's national policy in protecting the public from air pollution. Their two case studies indicate that much remains to be done since existing regulation provides loopholes that enable industries to escape pollution norms. Perez et al focus on contemporary EJ activism and related movements in the U. Their qualitative study, based on interviews with prominent EJ activists, scholars, and community leaders, traces the various ways in which EJ organizations have transformed and grown, even as the national policy environment has yet to reflect the vibrancy of the overall movement.

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Mitchell et al examine whether improvements in air quality in Great Britain, led in part by concerns over health and efforts to meet European Commission EC directives, have benefitted socio-economically deprived areas. Their research shows that even within deprived areas, the relatively more deprived areas continue to face the highest burdens associated with poor air quality. Lynch et al survey the rise of EJ research within the field of criminology, with a specific focus on the emergence of green criminology.

Their review article illustrates how legal frameworks can be applied to address the actions of environmental polluters, as well as how criminologists can contribute to the EJ literature.

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Finally, Bell's letter raises a significant question about the possibility of addressing environmental injustice within a capitalist system that is designed to privilege profits over environmental protection. Drawing on a case study that encompasses six countries representing varying degrees of historical and contemporary state support for market-led reforms, Bell argues that the struggle against environmental injustices ultimately requires an engagement with the capitalist economic system.

Even as the EJ research framework continues to expand in new directions, the need to examine the adverse social impacts of industrialization still remains an important focus of EJ scholarship. Several letters in this focus issue provide new insights on the EJ implications of industrial toxic pollutants and polluters. Collins et al utilize the example of the U. The results of their national-scale quantitative analysis of industrial toxic emissions suggest that selective environmental enforcement emphasizing the 'worst-of-the-worst' could be more effective in reducing disproportionate social harms than other broad-based approaches.

Clough and Bell's letter examines the EJ consequences of unconventional gas development in an area of Pennsylvania whose location coincides with the largest shale gas formation in the U. This study demonstrates how environmental injustice may not manifest in terms of disproportionate impacts on a minority or socioeconomically disadvantaged community, but through the exclusion of local residents from sharing in the benefits of a new resource economy, even as they are exposed to pollution resulting from resource extraction. Their letter thus extends the meanings of environmental injustice beyond social inequalities to economic exclusion resulting from industrial growth.

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Both Grineski et al and Basu and Chakraborty add quantitative case studies on industrial pollution from the Global South, thus widening the frame of EJ beyond its usual association with the U. Grineski et al 's article focuses on proximity to industrial parks in Tijuana, Mexico, and draws attention to environmental injustices faced by female factory workers. Basu and Chakraborty's national-scale study illustrates how an EJ framework is useful to understanding the spatial and social distribution of industrial hazardous waste generation in India.

Mohai and Saha a , b in their two letters consider how longitudinal analyses of socio-demographic changes can answer the perplexing 'which-came-first' question in EJ research: whether polluting facilities and industries choose to locate in socially disadvantaged communities, or whether disadvantaged social groups move to live near polluting facilities after they have been sited. Their first article Mohai and Saha a reviews theoretical arguments, methods, and findings from previous longitudinal EJ studies, in addition to identifying future research needs and directions.

Their second article Mohai and Saha b includes a case study of commercial hazardous waste facility siting in the U. Their results indicate that noxious facilities were more likely to locate in host neighborhoods that were already experiencing socio-demographic changes e. The connections between urbanization and environmental injustice are explored in several quantitative studies that examine social inequities in exposure to environmental hazards.

Two letters focus on EJ analysis in the Miami metropolitan area—one of the most ethnically diverse urban areas in the U. Collins et al utilize household-level survey data and evaluate the distribution of cancer risks from exposure to vehicular air pollutants, while Montgomery and Chakraborty analyze the socio-demographic characteristics of residents in neighborhoods exposed to both coastal and inland flood risks. In addition to documenting environmental injustices for the Hispanic population in the Miami area, both studies demonstrate how the presence of socially privileged residents in amenity-rich neighborhoods challenges conventional thinking regarding the socio-demographic characteristics of high-risk areas.

Grineski et al provide a quantitative analysis of environmental injustices associated with industrial parks in Tijuana—one of the largest cities in Mexico that shares its border with San Diego, USA. As mentioned previously, this study highlights the need for quantitative EJ research to expand its focus to cities in the Global South, as well as the significance of analyzing environmental risks faced by female-headed households and female workers, in particular.

Their findings indicate that many deprived communities are disproportionately burdened with environmental impacts and psycho-social stressors associated with vacant or derelict land. Mitchell and Chakraborty and Byrne et al both focus on the emerging issue of 'thermal inequity' through case studies that examine social inequities in exposure to urban heat in the three largest U.

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While Mitchell and Chakraborty's findings indicate the presence of multiple social inequalities in the distribution of urban heat risk, Byrne et al highlight the need to augment the ability of disadvantaged households to cope with increased heat, for example, through tree planting in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

While the scope and purpose of EJ has continued to expand since its emergence as field of activism and research in the s, it remains particularly relevant today due to the refusal of governments and corporations across the world to address the causes and consequences of environmental degradation as well as their disproportionate impacts on socially disadvantaged groups. The letters in this focus issue address a wide range of environmental harms and injustices across the world and demonstrate the different ways in which EJ activism, research, and policy have expanded significantly in recent years.

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Indeed, despite the voting and implementation power of states in the political scene, non-state actors now have an active voice and influence in global environmental governance regimes and are starting to build regimes of their own, with greater transparency and perceived legitimacy. On the one hand, the strengths of this type of private governance are significant. In addition, they cover significant gaps in regulatory coverage, often found between negotiation and implementation and areas like forestry, where international regimes have failed to comply with legally binding international rules.

These regimes also play an important role when the capacities of the state and international regulatory authorities are low or when they are not willing to intervene in industry practices. On the other hand, participation by firms can be uneven. Firms may choose not to join these regimes, and these may well be the ones that pollute the most, and that is less vulnerable to outside pressure, such as logging companies.

Moreover, participation varies by country and GDP, and firms in poorer countries may be excluded. Data on participation in ISO has shown that northern firms dominate this regime. The cost of certification is one of the barriers to entry, excluding non-certified firms from entry. Perhaps one of the most serious criticisms that they have to overcome is the absence of external accountability, having no system to ensure it. It is also crucial to reflect on the scientific understandings of the cause and effect relationship of global environmental issues.

Hence, science plays a significant role in defining issues and setting the agenda, and is characterised by advisory roles in NGOs, corporations, international organizations and national governments. However, the role of science remains disputed. On the one hand, some argue that scientific knowledge influences regimes and can override political and normative discussions and create legitimate solutions to environmental problems Gupta , p.

In this case, scientists involved in significant policy positions influence their governments to accept solutions to particular transboundary problems, even though the model has been criticized for being made of an unelected group of bureaucrats and scientists that have the power to make essential global decisions, masking the normative conflicts and uncertainties of the science of environmental change.

On the other hand others argue that the role of science in negotiations is minimal compared to inter-state bargaining processes. Therefore, the power of science and technology is not to be underestimated, as the legitimacy of environmental studies can be seriously challenged if it excludes crucial sources of knowledge. Overall, the above arguments have cast light on how the development of the environment as an area of study has challenged many of the traditional assumptions of IR, bringing in new actors, rules, norms and decision-making processes, which have the capacity to transform the ways in which global governance is carried out.

In fact, the sole focus on state-led environmental governance obscures the full picture of the phenomena that is currently happening in the world, and for this very reason, new sites and modes of governance have emerged. Even though, one of the greatest challenges for scholars and practitioners will be that of integrating all the environmental governance mechanisms in a common supportive framework in the midst of the conflicts and crises which remain and are likely to mount over the decades to come, international relations theory is still important in exposing how and how well the efforts to address environmental degradation are working.

Final year undergraduate student at the faculty of Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick. My undergraduate experience, internships and volunteering activities undertaken during the course of the years have contributed to my exploration of the field of international studies, and have driven me to pursue creative directions to promote socio-economic and political development in the transnational sphere.

My hope is to pursue a professional career in international or intergovernmental organisations that specialise in matters of international development.

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Environmental conflict is already happening and will increasingly shape international politics in ways that traditional theories of IR cannot explain. Introduction Whereas in the past the environment had been treated…. About Us Submissions Careers. Events Upcoming Events Event Reports. Search for:. About the Author. Angelica Faotto.