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Achieving environmental justice

Achieving environmental justice

(p.213) ELEVEN Achieving environmental justice
Achieving environmental justice
Karen Bell
Policy Press

In all the seven countries featured in this book, there were numerous people inventively and determinedly striving to achieve environmental justice. Even so, there were significant differences between the levels achieved in the countries and it seemed that, at least for the countries examined in this book, the more capitalist leaning the countries were, the less they had achieved the various components of environmental justice. Where the socialist countries examined in this book rated poorly with regard to a particular environmental injustice indicator, it appeared that this was, to a large extent, a consequence of the introduction of capitalist reforms (for example, the intensification of industrial production with China’s opening up to global capitalism, resulting in reduced air and water quality); and/or a legacy, in terms of environmental destruction and social inequality, of prior neoliberal or colonial periods (for example, Bolivia’s lack of endogenous development, resulting in a continuing need for extractivism). Yet capitalism interacts in complex ways with other explanatory factors, shaping them in particular ways, as is evident with regard to Damaging Hegemonic Environmental Discourses which, while having their own momentum, are nurtured and fuelled when they are convenient for capitalism. It may be that eliminating capitalism is a necessary condition for environmental justice, but not a sufficient condition, as these other factors also need to be specifically addressed.

Keywords:   economic growth, capitalism, social policy, equality, social movements, activism, values, social change, jobs, ecological society

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