Environmental justice: An international perspective

L. London, I. K. Joshi, E. Cairncross, J. Gilmore, L. Claudio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Environmental Justice in an international context must be understood in terms of socially-derived inequalities affecting health, well-being and the environment both within and between countries. The unequal distribution of benefits and burdens of production systems and their associated environmental pollution, with disproportionate burdens borne by the poorest and most marginalized populations, has its roots in underlying inequalities of power. This is particularly exacerbated by unequal terms of trade promoted under globalization. Four case studies are explored to illustrate how environmental injustice is experienced globally: (i) agricultural production, pesticides and food security; (ii) asbestos; (iii) air pollution from waste incineration; (iv) e-waste. A conceptualization of environmental justice as linked to questions of development, human rights and democratic accountability offers a broader framework to achieve protections from toxicants through reinforcing the agency of vulnerable groups to change their conditions of vulnerability in a context of global interconnectedness. Organizing internationally towards a common goal is therefore necessary to build a global environmental justice movement as is the need to hold developed countries and transnational companies accountable.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Environmental Health
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780444639523
ISBN (Print)9780444639516
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Agency
  • Air pollution
  • Asbestos
  • Developing countries
  • Discrimination
  • E-waste
  • Food security
  • Globalization
  • Human rights
  • Inequalities
  • Power relations
  • Racism
  • Toxic waste
  • Trade
  • Vulnerability


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