Join us.

We’re working to create a just society and preserve a healthy environment for future generations. Donate today to help.



Showing 7 results

Uma Outka | November 13, 2023

Federal-State Conflicts Over Environmental Justice — Parts I and II

In his first month in office, President Biden signed an executive order, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” recommitting the federal government to climate action and environmental justice. In April 2023, an additional executive order, “Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All,” reinforced the administration’s commitment to a “whole-of-government approach to environmental justice.” The renewed commitment to environmental justice is gratifying for all who care about these issues — and the challenge of accomplishing whole-of-government implementation is real. Among numerous complicating aspects of this shift, one key challenge is state resistance — even outright hostility — to federal environmental justice priorities.

Shelley Welton | November 8, 2023

Environmental Justice via Industrial Policy

This summer, we marked the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the United States’ most significant climate change law. Many advocates for environmental justice, myself included, were disappointed by several features of the Act, including the greenlighting of certain fossil fuel infrastructure projects. Nevertheless, the law unlocked unprecedented streams of investment into clean energy via tax credits and direct spending mechanisms.

Lemir Teron | November 6, 2023

A Moment for Energy Justice

Energy justice mandates that renewable energy transitions center marginalized and historically overburdened households, including fenceline and extraction communities, that have faced heightened burdens from the prevalent fossil fuel-based energy system, and further have been mostly overlooked by the burgeoning renewable energy sector.

Carmen Gonzalez, Rebecca Bratspies | November 1, 2023

The Unbearable Whiteness of Environmental Law

Member Scholar John Knox's article, Environmental Justice as Environmental Human Rights, recognizes the many accomplishments of U.S. environmental law while pointedly acknowledging its greatest shortcoming: the failure to address environmental racism. As a solution, the article proposes stronger linkages between environmental justice movements and international human rights law. As the article explains, international human rights law provides an important tool for understanding how environmental racism undermines U.S. environmental law.

Daniel Farber | October 30, 2023

Eco-Pragmatism Meets Human Rights Law

A forthcoming article by John Knox and Nicole Tronolone brings international human rights law to bear on the issue of environmental justice. They argue that international human rights law provides a basis for treating some types of environmental inequities as human rights violations. In particular, they argue that the government has a duty to redress racial disparities in exposure to pollution and toxic chemicals. In their view, the government has conspicuously failed in this duty. In a recent article of my own, I tried to work through questions about how regulations could address economic and racial inequality.

Sidney A. Shapiro | October 25, 2023

The Environmental Justice Stories No One Hears

According to conventional expectations, the idea of incorporating stories in rulemaking will seem radical, but it is conventional expectations that have led to the country’s failure to effectively promote environmental justice. International norms highlight this failure. There cannot be a “right to participate” if the best method of participating — storytelling — is devalued or ignored. Now is the time — past time, really — to build the procedures we need to listen to the environmental justice stories no one hears.

John Knox | October 23, 2023

Environmental Justice as Environmental Human Rights

The quest for environmental justice is also a quest for environmental human rights. The fight is the same fight, and the lessons learned in one arena can help in the other.