4. Moving the justice dimension to the debate

2023/06/07 Elhuyar Zientzia

Ed. Pernan Goñi

There is a direct link between environmental crises and social injustices. Sometimes it is difficult to see, but both have the same origin as abuse power.They are indirectly derived from conflicts that occur in the socioeconomic and geopolitical sphere. And the consequences of these conflicts not only affect the planet, but also many human beings: oppression caused by powerful countries; poverty; crispation; exclusion produced by their cultural, religious, cultural, educational, health, etc. identity.

Addressing the environmental emergency therefore requires the eradication of the socio-economic and political issues that have motivated it and the introduction of a culture of peace. Assuming that peace is not the absence of conflict, but of injustice.

There are many injustices that emerge in the weather emergency. These include the question of rich and impoverished countries. The countries of the northern hemisphere control the natural resources of others and, consequently, impoverished countries have a conditioned future. They cannot manage their riches to develop them as they would like, either economically or socially. Also, the concern for climate change in these rich countries is seriously affecting the south, but now the global north has at its disposal financial and technological resources to take action in response to the weather emergency.

The dimension of justice is also evident in the Basque Country, among other things in the field of energy. When the creation of a wind farm is communicated, many doubts and concerns are fired, having an important visual and ecological impact, where to place the park? Does an efficient energy consumption reduction policy underpin the decision to opt for mills? Or are they established with the sole objective of increasing the capacity to generate and consume energy?

On the other hand, the environmental emergency also reveals another dimension of justice, intergenerational justice. Future generations have the right to live on a healthy planet.

Therefore, in formulating solutions it is essential to analyse all these dimensions of justice, always with a clear distinction between ethical (which is not negotiable because there are fundamental rights at stake) and instrumental (useful for the solution but negotiable).

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