Environmental justice and environmental inequalities: A European perspective
Documents de travail OFCE
Documents de travail OFCE : 2010-05
In this paper, I highlight a pressing issue facing current and future social policies in the EU: the articulation between social justice and environmental concerns. European social policies have only recently acknowledged the need to integrate the notions of environmental justice and environmental inequalities, which have been part of the US policy arsenal for almost two decades. Indeed, challenges to equality and fairness in the environmental domain are many and growing in Europe. After having defined environmental justice and environmental inequalities in the light of historical developments and recent literature, I address two dimensions of those challenges for the EU: vulnerability and exposure to environmental risk; social fairness in environmental taxation. I finally offer some thoughts on the importance of the justice approach to environmental issues in order to conceive legitimate “socio-ecological policies” able to change in the long run not only behaviours but attitudes of citizens towards the environment.