Justice Grows: Environmental Justice Wins

Editorials News | Mar-15-2024

Justice Grows: Environmental Justice Wins

Environmental justice has made some progress, so the fight is by no means over; some victories are worth celebrating. This struggle ranges from grassroots movements to the most daring legal decisions in the world, yet the beating of the hearts is ever-loud and ever-increasing. Such activism breeds the understanding of who supports any community interests and reveals the need to hold the business or government entities liable for their deeds. How about discovering some of the recent positive trends in the field of environmental justice?

1. Zero Emission and the Right Water Advocacy
Parties across the globe have been mobilizing to combat room temperature and intoxicated air and water which are of the essence of life. Even in places like Flint, Michigan where the citizens had to struggle to get safe drinking water due to the lead contamination, grassroots organizations and activists fought restlessly and single-mindedly until they managed to get healthier water. Their work has contributed significantly to an improved understanding of environmental racism issues which led to the enactment of necessary actions to resolve the community welfare system which gives fewer opportunities to disadvantaged groups.

In like manner, movements promoting the containment of air pollution have generated important results also. Even in places like Delhi, India, where air quality walked a fragile line between “hazardous”, the citizenry organized and insisted on stern regulations on emissions from all vehicles and industries. Consistently, this has led to a dramatic reduction in air pollution, and that has strengthened the political will to build green cities.

2. The Indigenous peoples who call these lands their home have a long history of cultivating a symbiotic relationship with the environment that encompasses a holistic approach to well-being, rooted in personal fulfillment and belonging in a natural setting.

Since time immemorial, native peoples have been upfront in the cause of the environment fighting to protect their homelands and natural resources. Going through regions like Brazil, where deforestation endangers both biodiversity and the welfare of indigenous people, indigenous leaders have fought for more land ownership and strict laws implementation in their defense.

Legal victory, on one hand, can be achieved by recognition of indigenous land rights and halting of deleterious developmental projects which will serve the purposes of indigenous sovereignty and environmental conservation on the other hand. Alongside the victories for the native tribes, these also bring global efforts to stop climate change and the wipe-off of several key ecosystems one step closer.

3. Laws suing for the Improvement of Defilement
An issue that has been gaining momentum in the legal arena in the past years is lawsuits against companies or governments liable for environmental destruction. Many high-profile cases can be found, like for example lawsuits that have been filed by people asking oil companies to account for the damage they have caused, and more so cases that have been brought against polluters for releasing toxic substances into surrounding communities.

A case that illustrates their determination is Juliana v. United States, where a group of young activists sued the government because they assumed the latter failed to fight climate change and preserve the lives, freedom, and property of the generation to come. Though the litigation encountered some lawyers and rejections, it raised the issue of climate change in the national and international community and the activism saw a new wave which were inspired to advocate for climate actions.

4. Renewable energy and the way for appraisals.
The shift from traditional sources of energy to renewable ties with sustainable practices is the second key step that is in the process of being addressed by environmental justice. Society is moving ahead of a shift towards solar, wind, and other clean forms of renewable energy, which helps make us less dependent on fossil fuels and has less noticeable effects on climate change.

Projects are being launched to the boost use of renewable energy sources in impoverished communities, such as Community Solar and energy-saving measures, as an effort to deal with energy poverty and form new jobs. Moreover, these actions not only reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases but also, help create resilience and equity amidst climate adversities.

Though the issue of environmental justice is still far from being practiced, the aforementioned victories can offer hope and encouragement for the time when it will do so. Local activists and international legalities are both the latest techniques used by the communities to achieve accountability and establish progress. While our achievements to date are worthwhile to be recognized, it is also necessary to acknowledge that the challenges are still there, and our efforts toward a better world for all need to be serious-minded. With collective endeavor and sustaining will, social justice will however keep growing and in this way, the world will become prosperous.

By : Gulshan
Sanskar science academy

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