Tag Archives: environmental justice

Symposium: Dignity Rights and Environmental Justice

Delaware Law School (U.S.) is pleased to announce a Symposium on Dignity Rights and Environmental Justice on 13 April 2018. The event, which will be held in Delaware and livestreamed, will examine environmental justice through the lens of human dignity and will explore how legal responses including the right to human dignity might alleviate the burdens of environmental injustice throughout the world. A diverse group of activists, policy-makers, jurists, practitioners, academics, students, and others will join us to explore principled and practical approaches to advancing environmental justice in our own local neighborhoods and in communities around the world. The event is co-sponsored by the Dignity Rights Project, Widener Law Review, Coming Clean, Delaware Concerned Residents for Environmental Justice, the First State Fund, the ABA Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice, and the Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment. For more information, please contact Erin Daly at edaly@widener.edu

Feature image: Josh Gellers

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Pursuing Environmental Justice with International Human Rights and State Constitutions (Neil A. F. Popovic)

Author

Neil A.F. Popovic

Keywords

environmental justice, environmental rights, international human rights, state constitution, environmental racism, environmental degradation, poverty, social rights, environmental hazards, inequality, civil rights

Extract

I. Introduction

Notwithstanding the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the law, environmental racism thrives in the United States. Its manifestations include toxic waste dumps on indigenous lands, hazardous industrial facilities in communities of color, lead paint in decrepit housing projects, and use of dangerous pesticides in industrial agriculture. Environmental racism feeds on and perpetuates the social, economic and political marginalization of low-income communities and communities of color. As such, environmental racism in the United States represents a serious blight on the country’s human rights record.

Discriminatory siting decisions for environmentally hazardous facilities and uneven enforcement decisions do not necessarily result from consciously racist policy choices. More likely, they issue from a political and social system that marginalizes the participation and concern of communities of color, often through ostensibly neutral criteria. The effect, however, is no less racist than overt discrimination.

The United States has a substantial body of both environmental and civil rights laws, but none of these laws addresses the link between racism and environmental quality. 2 At best, environmental laws can enhance protection of the environment while civil rights laws can facilitate the rectification of overt racial discrimination. Neither body of law, however, addresses the impact of environmental degradation on human communities, and neither deals specifically with environmental racism.

Citation

(1996) 15 Stanford Environmental Law Journal 338 pp. 344-47

Paper

Pursuing Environmental Justice with International Human Rights and State Constitutions

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Environmental Justice, Human Rights, and the Global South (C. G. Gonzalez)

Author(s)

Carmen G. Gonzalez

Keywords

human rights, right to a healthy environment, environmental justice, Third World Approaches to International Law, TWAIL, North-South divide, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, colonialism, development, transnational corporations, Maastricht principles, extraterritoriality

Abstract

From the Ogoni people devastated by oil drilling in Nigeria to the Inuit and other indigenous populations threatened by climate change, communities disparately burdened by environmental degradation are increasingly framing their demands for environmental justice in the language of environmental human rights. Domestic and international tribunals have concluded that failure to protect the environment violates a variety of human rights (including the rights to life, health, food, water, property, and privacy; the collective rights of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands and resources; and the right to a healthy environment).

Some scholars have questioned the utility of the human rights framework given the diminished governance capacity of many Third World states due to decades of intervention by international financial institutions and restrictions imposed by trade and investment agreements. Others have expressed doubts about the ability of human rights law to adequately articulate and advance the aspirations and resistance strategies of diverse grassroots social justice movements, and have warned about the susceptibility of human rights law and discourse to co-optation by powerful states to advance their own economic and political interests (for example, through “humanitarian intervention” in Third World states).

This article examines the promise and the peril of environmental human rights as a means of challenging environmental injustice within nations as well as the North-South dimension of environmental injustice. Drawing a distinction between human rights discourse as a tool of popular mobilization and human rights law as codified in legal instruments and enforced by international institutions, the article examines some of the limitations of human rights law as an instrument of resistance to environmental injustice and offers several strategies to enhance its emancipatory potential.

Citation

(2015) 13 Santa Clara Journal of International Law 151

Paper

Environmental Justice, Human Rights, and the Global South

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Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment (A. Grear and L.J. Kotzé eds)

Editor

Anna Grear and Louis J. Kotzé

Keywords

Human rights, environment, epistemology, Ecological Subjectivities, natural law, United Nations, Australasia, New Zealand, environmental justice, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Aarhus, climate displacement, North-South, ecosystem services

Abstract

Bringing together leading international scholars in the field, this authoritative Handbook combines critical and doctrinal scholarship to illuminate some of the challenging tensions in the legal relationships between humans and the environment, and human rights and environment law.

The accomplished contributors provide researchers and students with a rich source of reflection and engagement with the topic. Split into five parts, the book covers epistemologies, core values and closures, constitutionalisms, universalisms and regionalisms, with a final concluding section exploring major challenges and alternative futures.

An essential resource for students and scholars of human rights law, the volume will also be of significant interest to those in the fields of environmental and constitutional law.

Citation

(2015) Edward Elgar

Book

Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment

 

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Globalization, Environmental Justice, and Sustainable Development: The Case of Oil (Hymel)

Author

Monica L Hymel

Keywords

Energy, environment, tax, oil, environmental justice, sustainable development

Abstract

As globalization expands, poverty abounds, the environment suffers, and scientists warn of the devastation to come as earth’s temperature rises. Likewise, the last century has seen a dramatic increase in the human lifespan and life comforts. People travel the world with ease and comfort – unimaginable even 60 years ago. Oil plays a pivotal role in these problems and accomplishments. However, oil consumption has dramatically damaged our environment. Power struggles over controlling oil threaten global security. This paper discusses the economics of oil in the context of globalization, environmental justice, and sustainable development. The paper analyzes policies that have resulted in oil’s world dominance, and those policies needed to break oil’s hold on the global economy.

Citation

(2006) Macquarie Law Review; Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 06-38.

Publication

Globalization, Environmental Justice, and Sustainable Development: The Case of Oil

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