ERC ADVANCED GRANT TO JOAN MARTINEZ-ALIER AT ICTA UAB, 2016-21
THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT
– THE EJAtlas (ENVJUSTICE)
Is there a Global Movement for Environmental Justice that is helping to push society and economy towards environmental sustainability? We shall try to prove there is. Research will be done on the many facets of this Global Movement for Environmental Justice. ENVJUSTICE will carry out three main tasks.
First, the team will add and analyze cases in a groundbreaking Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas) (www.ejatlas.org), a worldwide inventory of ecological distribution conflicts compiled at the ICTA UAB, still with uneven coverage. We shall update and expand the EJAtlas which was launched in March 2014 in the EJOLT project. It will grow thematically and geographically, becoming a unique instrument to do comparative, statistical political ecology. The field of political ecology studies “ecological distribution conflicts” ultimately caused by the increase in the social metabolism. The links between such socio-environmental conflicts and changes in the social metabolism will be explored. Even a non-growing industrial economy would require new supplies of fossil fuels and other materials from the commodity extraction frontiers (because energy is not recycled and materials are recycled only in part). The economy is not circular, it is entropic. There are therefore many resource extraction and waste disposal conflicts, at different scales.
Research based on the EJAtlas will analyze the resistance movements born from such conflicts and the networks they form across borders in a Global Environmental Justice Movement. Who are the social actors and the victims in such conflicts, the forms of mobilization, the variables that explain the rates of “success” in creating new alternatives? In this regard, ENVJUSTICE will work together with the ISSC funded project Acknowl-EJ led by Dr. Leah Temper (2016-19) at ICTA UAB.
Second, we shall expand the scope and deepen the analysis of the Vocabulary of the Movement for Environmental Justice, from its beginning in the United States in 1982 (with terms like environmental racism, popular epidemiology, sacrifice zones) to its deployment in many countries with new cross-cutting concepts. In Paris in 2015 (at the 21st COP on Climate Change) there were claims for “Climate Justice”. This is only one of many terms in the vocabulary of environmental justice. How are other claims expressed in Europe, India, China, Africa, Latin America, related to mining and fossil fuel extraction conflicts, biomass and water, waste disposal and transport conflicts?
Third, we shall analyze (in the steps of Sicco Mansholt and Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen) the elements for a possible alliance between the Global Environmental Justice movement and the small Degrowth (Décroissance, Post-Wachstum, “Prosperity without Growth”) movement in Europe.
ENVJUSTICE reinforces the Ecological Economics and Political Ecology group at ICTA UAB, being able to give contracts to 6 doctoral students / post-docs. Calls will be made in June 2016.