Environmental justice, ecologism of the poor and degrowth (2016)

Environmental justice, ecologism of the poor and degrowth – Joan Martinez-Alier (ICTA-UAB)

Monday 4th July, 10.00 – 11.30, UAB Campus


The words ‘‘environmental justice’’ were initially used in the United States in the early 1980s for local complaints against ‘‘environmental racism,’’ i.e., the disproportionate pollution burdens in areas primarily inhabited by disadvantaged ethnic groups. Now the term is applied to spontaneous movements and organizations that resist extractive industries and organize against pollution and climate change anywhere in the world.
EJOs (environmental justice organizations) are potential allies of the environmental groups in rich countries that criticize the obsession with the narrow economic measure of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, which defines economic growth in the mainstream and permeates the political sphere. These groups form the degrowth movement, whose origins partly lie in the field of ecological economics.

Background reading material: Martínez-Alier, Joan. 2012. Environmental Justice and Economic Degrowth: An Alliance between Two Movements. Capitalism Nature Socialism, 23(1): 51-73.