Environmental justice

"Old" EJ news


NUG #1 (2/2005)

Until January 2005, several theses on environmental justice (EJ) have been written at social sciene institutes of German universities; at least one doctor´s thesis is planned.

EJ has been a sub-topic at the "Soziologentag" (German sociologists´ year-conference) 2004 in München. But EJ has there been connected to the much wider topic of ecological justice - i.e.: distributional and procedural justice of all living beings on earth -, and has there partly been interpreted in ways very different from the international EJ-discussion.

The ESN (Environment & Society Network; www.esa-esn.org) of ESA (European Sociological Association) will have a session on EJ and environmental policy at the ESA-conference (9-13.9.2005) at the Nicholas Copernicus-university in Torun/Poland. Abstracts till 15.2.2005 per email to the network-coordinator: Kris van Koppen, Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, 67o6 KN Wageningen, Niederlande, email: kris.vankoppen@wur.nl.

The "Aktionsprogramm Umwelt & Gesundheit NRW" (APUG-NRW) (action program environment & health-Northrhine-Westfalia) discussed at its second forum (November 2004) in Bonn, whether EJ should be included as a topic. A positive decision has not yet been taken, but is probable.

New publications on EJ:


NUG #2 (8/2005)

The "Aktionsprogramm Umwelt & Gesundheit NRW" (APUG-NRW) (action program environment & health-Northrhine-Westfalia) has included EJ as a topic. As a start, data of a hot spot-study (air-pollution in certain areas of Duisburg and Dortmund, compared to Borken) will be re-analyzed under an EJ-perspective. The analysis will be done by the "Institut für Medizinische Information/Biometrie/Epidemiologie (IMIBE)des Uni-Klinikums Essen" (institute of medical information/biometry/epidemiology of the university-hospital in Essen).

The city of Kassel has commissioned the "Zentrum für Umweltsystemforschung der Universität Kassel" (center for environmental systems research at the university of Kassel) with a study on the socio-spatial distribution of environmental quality.

The "Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung" (federal center for political education) organizes in November 2005 in Berlin a conference on "sustainability, quality of life and EJ", directed by Prof. Kuckartz, University of Marburg.

During a two-month stay in Edinburgh, I did for Friends of the Earth Scotland (FoES) an evaluation of the EJ-policy in Scotland. In an "environment speech" of the First Minister in 2002, EJ has been declared an important target of the Scottish government; this has been confirmed in the coalition-contract of Labour and Liberal Democrats in 2003. Several studies on procedural and, more so, distributional justice of environmental pollution in Scotland have been finished. The uppermost political level in Scotland is promoting EJ as a political topic - at least to some degree. In addition, there is a small group of committed EJ-experts in various institutions, who are continuously promoting the topic, and have prevented its dissolution in "sustainable development/growth". EJ-relevant activities still refer more to procedural aspects, partly initiated from outside (Aarhus declaration, EU directives). Distributional aspects are mostly neglected. Environmental pollution is heavily concentrated in the "central belt" between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG #3 (1/2006)

Hurricane Katrina, which hit the US gulf-coast in September 2005, is a recent example of lack of EJ - victims in New Orleans were mostly colored US citizens.

The "Umweltforschungszentrum der Universität Kassel" has started a session of lectures on EJ, in winter-term 2005/6, organized by Dr. Köckler.

The Scottish government has published a report on its EJ-policy (see below Scottish Executive 2005). My report on the Scottish EJ-policy has been published in the internet (see below Maschewsky 2005).

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG # 4 (8/2006)

At the "Soziologentag 2006" (German sociology conference 2006, 33rd Congress of the German Sociological Association, DGS) in Kassel, there will be a workshop on environmental justice (EJ) at October 10th, 2 pm, with seven lectures. More information at www.uni-kassel.de/fb5/soziologie/dgs2006/html/programm.htm.

At the "BKK-Satellitentagung Mehr Gesundheit für Alle" (statutory health insurance-conference "more health for all"), preceding the "12. Kongreß Armut & Gesundheit" (12th congress poverty & health) in Berlin (1.-2.12.06), there will be a workshop on health assessment and EJ at November 30th, 2-4 pm, with four lectures (chair: Prof. Geene, University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg/Stendal). More information at www.gesundheitberlin.de.

The journal "Umwelt-Medizin-Gesellschaft" (environment-medicine-society) published a volume (3/2006) with three articles on EJ. More information at www.umwelt-medizin-gesellschaft.de. In the editorial Tamara Steger, PhD (Central European University, Center for Environmental Policy and Law, Budapest) reports that in Eastern Europe a transnational "Coalition for Environmental Justice" (CEJ) has been founded, which tries to connect civil rights and environmental issues, and refers to studies of the UN Developmental Program (UNDP).

Rachel´s Democracy & Health News (# 861, 29.6.2006) reports - in a contribution by JH Guth - that the US federal government, using the priority clause of article IV of the US constitution, is increasingly annulling progressive state laws on social, health, consumer and environmental issues. This policy clearly aims at mere deregulation, as no federal laws take the place of the annulled state laws. More information at www.rachel.org.

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG # 5 (1/2007)

At the "Soziologentag 2006" (German sociology conference 2006, 33rd Congress of the German Sociological Association, DGS) in Kassel, there was a well attended workshop on environmental justice (EJ). Afterwards, around 10 participants came together and agreed to share informations and have a meeting in spring 2007. Coordinators are Mrs. Köckler (Kassel) and Mr. Elvers (formerly Halle; now Berlin). This could lead to a competence-network, which might stimulate, document and coordinate EJ-activities and -research.

The Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA) has been financing a study on "Weiterentwicklung der konzeptionellen Überlegungen zur Ökologischen Gerechtigkeit als Teil der Sozialberichterstattung in Deutschland auf der Grundlage von Experteninterviews und eines Fachgesprächs" (Further conceptual developments on ecological justice as part of social monitoring in Germany, based on expert interviews and an expert discussion) (UFOPLAN 2005, FKZ 205 17 103). The study was done by the Wuppertal Institute and the Science Center Northrhine-Westfalia, Institute for Work and Technology (Wissenschaftszentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen, Institut Arbeit und Technik). Results have been published on the net under www.umweltbundesamt.de, topic environmental awareness and sustainable consumption, sub-topic ecological justice.

At the 30./31. of November 2006, there has been an expert meeting in Berlin to present and discuss the three sub-studies (relation of ecological justice to environmental policy, social policy, social monitoring/surveillance). Take-up of, relation to, and relevance for EJ have remained unclear.

At February 1st 2007, the Catholic Social Institute (Katholisch-Soziale Institut, KSI; www.ksi.de) in Bad Honnef organized a "First future forum environmental justice" ("1. Zukunftsforum Umweltgerechtigkeit"; moderation: Dr. van Saan-Klein, Beatrice.vSK@t-online.de). The workshop was supported by the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection, Agriculture and Consumer Safety of Northrhine-Westfalia (NRW-Ministerium für Umwelt und Naturschutz, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz, MUNLV) as part of the Action Program Environment & Health NRW (Aktionsprogramm Umwelt & Gesundheit NRW, APUG-NRW).

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG # 6 (7/2007)

At September 18-21 2007, there will be a large congress in Augsburg of several professional societies - DGSMP, DGMS, GMDS, DGEpi - with a broad and differentiated program on social medicine, public health, and epidemiology (with 963 lectures). On Thursday, the 20th of September, from 11 am to 12.30, there will be a workshop on environmental justice (EJ), with seven lectures (chair: Dr. Bolte, Dr. Mielck). For more information see www.dgsmp.de.

At November 22-24 2007, the society for hygiene, environmental and preventive medicine (GHUP) has its first congress in Bielefeld. Chairs: Prof. Dr. Claudia Hornberg (Universität Bielefeld), PD Dr. Rainer Fehr (LÖGD-NRW). Topics are diverse and include EJ. Deadline for abstracts: 15.7.07. For more information see www.conventus.de/ghup2007.

From November 30 till December 1, there will be the 13th congress poverty and health. In the last years, there were always lectures and/or workshops on EJ. There is not yet a final program on the net. For more information see www.gesundheitberlin.de or kongress@gesundheitberlin.de.

The weekly periodical "Das Parlament" has in its supplement "Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte", Nr. 24/2007, two contributions on environmental resp. ecological justice. Contact: www.bpb.bund.de.



NUG # 7 (2/2008)

A newsgroup on EJ has been installed at the end of 2007 (http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/umweltgerechtigkeit). Anybody interested in participating should contact the moderator (umweltgerechtigkeit-owner@yahoogroups.de). News to the group via umweltgerechtigkeit@yahoogroups.de. The newsgroup is meant to allow fast and flexible sharing of informations concerning EJ.

Parallel to the newsgroup EJ, the same team (editorial staff: Elvers, Köckler, Schlüns; further cooperants: Bunge, Katzschner, Maschewsky) edited in January 2008 a first newsletter [NG:UG]. It can be found at the above mentioned newsgroup, and is meant to serve the same intentions.

On 23.11.07, at the 1. GHUP-Konferenz (GHUP: Gesellschaft für Hygiene, Umweltmedizin und Prävention; Association for Hygiene, Environmental Medicine and Prevention) in Bielefeld, there has been an EJ-workshop (40 participants, 6 contributions). More information at http://conventus.de/ghup2007.

At the 13. Kongreß Armut & Gesundheit (Congress Poverty & Health) in Berlin, on 30.11.07 there has been a workshop "Schichtenspezifische Umweltbelastungen bei Kindern und Jugendlichen" (social status-specific environmental stress of children and adolescents). Mostly results of the Kinder-Umwelt-Survey (children & environment survey) KUS have been presented. More information at http://www.gesundheitberlin.de.

On 13.12.07, at the federal bureau of the NABU (Naturschutzbund Deutschland; Nature Conservancy Association Germany) in Berlin, there has been an expert discussion on ecojustice, prepared and coordinated by Mrs Littmeier from DNR (Deutscher Naturschutzring; German Network for Nature Conservancy). The meeting drew a considerable audience (scientists, representatives from political parties, administrative bodies, ministries, environmental groups, employees of several members of the parliament).More information at http://tinyurl.com/3yj6wm.

In Scotland, in 2007 an environmental justice fund (EJF) has been installed, with 2 Mio £, and a duration of only one year. Money will be managed by "Forward Scotland" - an institution, which also manages other environmental projects for the Scottish government - and is meant to help communities start EJ-projects.

At the Senatsverwaltung für Gesundheit, Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz (Senate´s Department of Health, Environment and Consumers´ Protection) in Berlin, EJ has become a topic, following similar developments in München, Hamburg (partly), and the Ruhr region. Two projects are in planning: (a) unequal distribution of environmental load (mainly traffic, noise, microdust) in an inner-city neighborhood; (b) environmental load in a disadvantaged neighborhhod (problem area), e.g. Kottbusser Tor. Contacts: Dr. med. Luck-Bertschat and Dr.-Ing. Klimeczek.

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG # 8 (8/2008)

1. The GP research group organizes a workshop on "environment and justice" in Berlin, at the 13./14.10.08, for the Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU, Bundesministerium für Umwelt) and the Federal Agency for Environment (UBA, Umweltbundesamt). It is supposed to develop concepts for ecological fairness and against social exclusion. Limited number of participants. More information at www.gp-f.com.

2. Prof. Hornberg (University of Bielefeld) organizes a conference on "environmental justice - the social distribution of health-related environmental impacts" in Berlin, at the 27./28.10.08, for BMU/UBA, with international participants.

3. The German Environmental Aid (DUH, Deutsche Umwelthilfe) has started an EJ-project. It focuses on community approaches to improve the local situation. Right now, it is looking for examples of good practice. More information at www.duh.de/umweltgerechtigkeit.html.

4. Health Berlin (Gesundheit Berlin e.V.) organizes the 14th congress "poverty & health" in Berlin, at the 5./6.12.08, under the slogan "justice promotes health for all". This has been for years the largest public health-congress in Germany, and had often EJ-workshops. More information at www.gesundheitberlin.de.

5. In cooperation with the Department of Environment, Health and Consumer Safety of the Berlin Senate (SenGUV, Senatsverwaltung für Umwelt, Gesundheit und Verbraucherschutz), at the Humboldt-University a geographical bachelor thesis on EJ with GIS-methods is on its way. First results will be presented at the above mentioned BMU/UBA-congress. More theses and cooperations with other universities are planned. More information at heinz-josef.klimeczek@senguv.berlin.de and gudrun.luck-bertschat@senguv.berlin.de.

6. In the USA, in 5/08, the publication company Mary Ann Liebert Inc. has published a new quarterly and peer-reviewed journal "Environmental Justice", with a wide perspective (policy, history, empirical work, book-reviews, etc.). In the free first edition, e.g., there is an article on EJ in Eastern Europe by Steger/Filcak; also an article by Taylor et al with some reflections on "neighbourhood walkability and urban design". Access at www.liebertpub.com/env.

7. The "American Journal of Public Health" (AJPH) plans (for fall 08?) a special edition on EJ, in the internet.

8. The free and via internet accessible UBA-journal "UMID" (Umweltmedizinischer Informationsdienst, environmental health information service) has, in edition 2/2008, focused on "environmental justice - environment, health and social situation. The edition has eleven articles with a wide perspective. Most articles focus on social, not socio-spatial, differences in environmental exposure, i.e., with environment-related inequities in health. One reason for this slanted interpretation of EJ might be - beside data-availability via environmental surveys - the stilllo w degree of residential segregation in Germany. Access at www.umweltbundesamt.de/umid.

9. The Newsgroup EJ [NG:UG] has published its second edition (Rundbrief 02/08). Access at http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/umweltgerechtigkeit or via the moderator umweltgerechtigkeit-owner@yahoogroups.de.

New publications on EJ (selection): ... see references.


NUG # 9 (1/2009)

1. The newsgroup environmental justice [NG:UG] published its new newsletter 03/08, with lots of actual information. Access via http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/umweltgerechtigkeit.

2. Environmental justice (EJ) is still on an upward wind politically. At 27./28.10.08 in Berlin, the Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU, Bundesministerium für Umwelt) and the Federal Agency for Environment (UBA, Umweltbundesamt) held an EJ conference, organized by Prof. Hornberg (University of Bielefeld). There were many participants (mainly from academia and ministries resp. agencies); two referents came from Britain. At the end, a new workgroup on EJ indicators was announced. At 11.11.08 in Berlin, BMU and the German Trade-Unions Federation (DGB, Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund) held a conference on "social dimensions of environment and health - perspectives for a healthy work and general environment", with a clear EJ perspective. At the 14th Congress "poverty & health" at 5./6.12.08 in Berlin, there was an EJ workshop.

3. At 31.3.-1.4.09 the German Environmental Aid (DUH, Deutsche Umwelthilfe) organizes a congress on EJ in Frankfurt/Main. More informations at www.duh.de/umweltgerechtigkeit.html.

4. WHO-Europe has identified "inequity in environment and health" as an "emerging issue", which it intends to bring forward at the 5th European Conference of Ministers of Environment and Health 2009 in Parma (Italy). Informations at www.euro.who.int/eehc/conferences/20080117_1.

5. The number of diploma, bachelor and master theses on EJ is increasing - at the moment three theses in planning or geography by Brückner, Mertens und Riedel (cf. [NG:UG] 03/08).

6. Jon Fairburn and Graham Smith of IESR (Institute for Environment, Sustainability and Regeneration) at Staffordshire University did an EJ study on South Yorkshire for the British Environment Agency. The study is, among other things, interesting from a methodological viewpoint. More informations at htpps://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/epages/eapublications. A short article on the study has already appeared (see below).

7. Three more editions of the journal "Environmental Justice" have appeared in the meantime, with a wide range of subjects. Some examples (see below): EJ and hurricane Katrina, EJ-regulation and color of skin (2/2008); EJ and gender, EJ in South Africa, procedural justice and EJ (3/2008); EJ and work, EJ in Brazil, EJ in UK, EJ and planning, EJ and children (4/2008). Access via www.liebertpub.com/env.

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG # 9 (1/2009)

1. The newsgroup environmental justice [NG:UG] published its new newsletter 03/08, with lots of actual information. Access via http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/umweltgerechtigkeit.

2. Environmental justice (EJ) is still on an upward wind politically. At 27./28.10.08 in Berlin, the Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU, Bundesministerium für Umwelt) and the Federal Agency for Environment (UBA, Umweltbundesamt) held an EJ conference, organized by Prof. Hornberg (University of Bielefeld). There were many participants (mainly from academia and ministries resp. agencies); two referents came from Britain. At the end, a new workgroup on EJ indicators was announced. At 11.11.08 in Berlin, BMU and the German Trade-Unions Federation (DGB, Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund) held a conference on "social dimensions of environment and health - perspectives for a healthy work and general environment", with a clear EJ perspective. At the 14th Congress "poverty & health" at 5./6.12.08 in Berlin, there was an EJ workshop.

3. At 31.3.-1.4.09 the German Environmental Aid (DUH, Deutsche Umwelthilfe) organizes a congress on EJ in Frankfurt/Main. More informations at www.duh.de/umweltgerechtigkeit.html.

4. WHO-Europe has identified "inequity in environment and health" as an "emerging issue", which it intends to bring forward at the 5th European Conference of Ministers of Environment and Health 2009 in Parma (Italy). Informations at www.euro.who.int/eehc/conferences/20080117_1.

5. The number of diploma, bachelor and master theses on EJ is increasing - at the moment three theses in planning or geography by Brückner, Mertens und Riedel (cf. [NG:UG] 03/08).

6. Jon Fairburn and Graham Smith of IESR (Institute for Environment, Sustainability and Regeneration) at Staffordshire University did an EJ study on South Yorkshire for the British Environment Agency. The study is, among other things, interesting from a methodological viewpoint. More informations at htpps://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/epages/eapublications. A short article on the study has already appeared (see below).

7. Three more editions of the journal "Environmental Justice" have appeared in the meantime, with a wide range of subjects. Some examples (see below): EJ and hurricane Katrina, EJ-regulation and color of skin (2/2008); EJ and gender, EJ in South Africa, procedural justice and EJ (3/2008); EJ and work, EJ in Brazil, EJ in UK, EJ and planning, EJ and children (4/2008). Access via www.liebertpub.com/env.

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG # 10 (8/2009)

1. In 2/2009, the EU commission made made a two-day conference on "social fairness in sustainable development", which also dealt with environmental justice (EJ).

2. The EJ workshop of the German Environmental AID (DUH),at 31.3./1.4.2009 in Frankfurt/M., had many participants - scientists, representatives from communities, social and environmental organizations. Three topics were dealt with in 13 presentations: noise and traffic, climate protection, urban green. A documentation is in progress. Informations at www.duh.de.

3. At the website of APUG (action program environment & health; www.apug.de), EJ has been included as a menu category. This points to the growing political importance of EJ - at least, at a symbolic level. However, the long title ("EJ - environment, health, and social status") indicates some narrowing of EJ to environmental public health, which may not further cooperation with geographers, planners, urban sociologists, etc.

4. The Environmental Administration (Umweltbundesamt, UBA) has published a short overview over 18 studies on environmental public health in Germany (authors: Bunge and Katzschner; 69 p). Download at www.umweltbundesamt.de.

5. The EJ project at the Senate for Health, Environment and Consumer Protection (SenGUV) in Berlin, has received more reports from cooperating university institutes (TU Berlin, HU Berlin, UFZ Leipzig). They contain detailed analyses of four health-relevant environmental loads, with identical spatial reference. More external expertise (SenStadt, BUND, Difu) has been included. This will soon allow the spatially detailled analysis of multiple loads. The three mentioned university institutes will forward research proposals to the UBA.

6. Jon Fairburn of IESR (Institute for Environment, Sustainability and Regeneration) at Staffordshire University has hinted to a presently stronly debated EJ scandal in UK. In the town of Corby (Northamptonshire), from 1985 until 1999, a steel works has been pulled down, with severe disregard for environmental standards. Dozens of children, who have been born in this period in Corby, are mutilated at arms and/or legs. 18 parents have sued the Corby Borough Council, in a legal battle of more than 10 years. 16 of them were granted in 7/2009 a provisional compensation of 1.6 million BP (to pay their lawyers). The judges answered yes to the question of accountability and liability of the community, and opened a path for private suits (with high compensation claims). These will have to give evidence of a causal connection between proven environmental contamination by the community, and individual health problems of the children. This path is hard, often futile (as described in Grisham´s novel "the appeal"), but sometimes successful (as in the case of Erin Brockovich; put into a film, with an Oscar nomination).

7. Two more editions of the EJ journal have appeared, with a wide focus. E.g., EJ in Brazil, South Africa (1/2009), and Singapore (2/2009); EJ and nuclear industry ("/2009). Access at www.liebertpub.com/env.

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG # 11 (1/2010)

1. The UN climate summit in Copenhagen, in December 2009, has failed miserably. Main reason: the developed countries offered less than 1 % of the funds, which they put up to save their main banks, for climate protection. This way, international environmental policy remains mere "symbolic policy". These are negative prospects for environmental justice (EJ).

2. The severe earth quake in Haiti at January 12, 2010, has again shown - like the big flood, following hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, September 2005 - that even the recovery of environmental victims is often done in a socially discriminating way. After the earth quake, heavy removal equipment was not first used in the densely populated center of Port-au-Prince, with its collapsed schools, hospitals, etc., but in some thinly populated urban fringe areas, where embassies and tourist hotels were located.

3. The German Environmental Aid (DUH) has published a documentation of its EJ-workshop on 31.3./1.4.2009 in Frankfurt/M. (with the topics: traffic and noise, climate protection, urban development and urban green). At 9.2.2009, this is followed by an expert workshop, in Frankfurt/M., on "nature - city - humans". Topics will be: brownfields and urban green, room for manoeuvre at community level, EJ in the competition "federal capital biodiversity 2010". Informations at www.duh.de.

4. The documentation of the EJ-workshop of BMU and UBA, at 27./28.10.2008, in Berlin, has been published (see below Hornberg/Pauli). Access at www.uni-bielefeld.de/gesundheitw/umweltgerechtigkeit/index.html.

5. The project "EJ in Berlin" (head: Dr. Klimeczek), at the Senate for Health, Environment, and Consumer Protection (SenGUV) in Berlin - cooperation with SenStadt, health department Berlin-Mitte, technical university Berlin, Humboldt university Berlin, UFZ Leipzig, BUND - has presented data on four dimensions of environmental load (noise, air quality, urban green bio-climate; together with social status), at the low level of traffic cells (Verkehrszellen). After these distributions of singular loads, the distribution of multiple loads was also presented. Further analyses are on the way.

6. The new editions of the jounal "Environmental Justice" are dealing with, e.g.: EJ in Taiwan and Canada, EJ and biography (3/2009); EJ and climate justice, EJ and CO2-storage (4/2009). Access at www.liebertpub.com/env.

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG # 12 (7/2010)

1. Under the Obama presidency, environmental justice (EJ) seems to gain new momentum in the US: white-house staff met with representatives of the EJ movement (View/Boles 2010); the Department of Energy (DoE) organized a three-day EJ conference; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a new "rulemaking guidance on environmental justice"; etc.

2. At the same time, there are new EJ conflicts. For example, BP has private contractors clean-up huge amounts of sludge, sand, and debrs, contaminated for months by oil leaking from a drill hole, after the explosion of the oil-rig "Deep Water Horizon". These firms selected nine waste-deposits in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi; five of the chosen sites are in predominantly minority-neighborhoods (1-mile radius). The basically racist pattern of waste disposal, which Bullard described in "Dumping in Dixie", seems still to be valid.

3. From Scotland, there are alo some EJ news: some publications - e.g., Richardson et al, Slater/Pedersen (see below) -, and relevant conferences - e.g., "Environmental justice, human rights, and environmental law" by the Environmental Law Centre Scotland, Glasgow, 11/2009; "Conference on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)" by the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 5/2010.

4. A short study of a French research institute analyzes EJ in Europe, under the aspects (a) vulnerability in regard to environmental risks, and (b) just resp. fair environmental taxes (see below Laurent).

5. The EJ project in Berlin will be continued and extended by further analyses. The design is laid out in a power-point presentation (by Klimeczek, see below), accessible on the internet.

6. The new issues of the journal "Environmental Justice" treat, among other things, EJ and climate change, EJ and town-planning, a meeting of white house-staff with EJ representatives (# 1/2010); the 40th anniversary of "Earth Day", which had a huge resonance in 1970 in the US, and all of a sudden widened the environmental movement (# 2/2010). Access via www.liebertpub.com/env.

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG # 13 (1/2011)

1. In the research plan (UFO-Plan) 2011 of the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA), environmental justice (EJ) is considered twice: by a "strategic conference on EJ" (project 117); and by research on "EJ in the urban environment - development of practical strategies and measures for reducing socially unequal distribution of envionmental impacts" (project 124).

2. At the university of Bochum, there will be a congress (28.-30.3.2011) on "Justice in modern health care. Perspectives for the 21st century". It is organized by the BMBF Junior Research Group at the Institut for ethics in medicine and medical history.

3. The German Environmental AID (DUH) plans for the end of 2011 a congress on "EJ and biodiversity".

4. Where I live (in Potsdam), EJ is - without mentioning the concept - a frequent issue on the news. Some examples:

  • the air routes of the new airport, under construction, BBI (Berlin-Brandenburg International) will touch affluent South-Western areas of Berlin, formerly unharmed by airplane noise. Several grassroot groups sprang up to resist the new noise pollution;
  • the setting-up of still more windparks in the "energy country Brandenburg" (according to the plans of First Minister Platzeck) is met by growing resistance from affected communities;
  • the CCS technology for subterranean storage of carbon-dioxide, planned by the energy TNC Vattenfall and approved by the Brandenburg government - which is to improve the climate balance of brown coal combustion used in Brandenburg - is rejected by the population, mostly for safety and health risks;
  • the on-going mining of brown coal in the Lausitz - against many promises of politicians and political parties - is regarded as another proof of official climate bigotry, and increases disechantment with politics;
  • in the North of Berlin, several huge hog-farms are planned. This induces conflicts between the traditional local population - often without jobs -, and Berliners, who bought a vacation home here: "Idylle statt Gülle ("idyll instead of manure").

5. The work on EJ presently gets a push from an unexpected side. The providers of spatial ("geo-referential", "geo-") data, techniques, and services - like Google - are opening up a huge new market. Therefore competence in GIS methods is more and more important for geographers, epidemiologists, and social scientists. This obviously increases their willingness to look at the socio-spatial distribution of environmental goods and bads - as an example for using GIS methods.

6. Socialdemocrats and greens, as partners in the new government of Northrhine-Westfalia (NRW), have included EJ in their coalition contract, as an issue in the new "masterplan environment & health".

7. The Berlin EJ study (Dr. Klimeczek, SenGUV) will publish in 2011 an overview of the existing analyses. The study is to be continued and extended. A model application of results in the borough Mitte is discussed.

8. The new issues of the journal "Environmental Justice" treat, among other things, ways to improve information deficits of communities, which are affected ly lack of EJ (3/2010); preferential treatment of investors and agencies, compared to affected communities, in experts´ opinions on environmental projects (4/2010). Access via www.liebertpub.com/env.

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG # 14 (7/2011)

1. The partial MCA (maximum credible accident) in a nuclear plant in Fukushima (Japan), after a tsunami at 11/3/2011, showed a shocking helplessness of the "nuclear community" of experts, operating company, and politicians, who are closely allied and deeply committed to the use of nuclear energy. Even more frightening is that this happened in a high-technology country. Victims were again - like in Tschernobyl - not the "nuclear community", but the workers in the plant and hundredthousands of exposed people in the region. As the German Merkel administration had just, in consensus with industry, ordered longer operating times for nuclear plants, the public was quite concerned. The chancellor veered round and all of a sudden proclaimed German withdrawal from nuclear energy. The future must show, what will remain of this withdrawal, when Fukushima has been forgotten and industry resists - and who will have to pay for the withdrawal.

2. The German party "Die Linke" (The Left") has, in April 2011, put forward a question about EJ to the Berlin Abgeordnetenhaus (parliament).

3. The UCC (United Church of Christ) has replicated its innovative 1987 study of waste policy in the US. The replication of 2007 showed that the unequal distribution of hazardous waste landfills onto "ethnic neighbourhoods" has even increased in the last 20 years. Latinos are now more affected than "African Americans". The authors conclude: "Race matters!"

4. The US-historian Howard Zinn gives - in his highly acclaimed monography on US-history - many examples of EJ-conflicts.

5. "The pipe" is a documentary film by Risteard Ó Domhnaill (Irland 2010). It is about an EJ-conflict between a small community and the Shell corporation, which is backed by the Irish government in its ruthless deterioration of the environment.

6. The journal "Ökologisches Wirtschaften" focussed in its edition 1/2011 on EJ, with seven articles (16 pages).

7. New editions of the journal "Environmental Justice" discuss, among other issues, about environmentally just technology, report about international trade in hazardous waste, nuclear colonialism in Alaska, and EJ-groups in the US.

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG # 15 (1/2012)

1. Environmental justice (EJ) is subject of the "11th Global Conference Environmental Justice and Global Citizenship" vom 3.-5.7.2012 at the Mansfield College in Oxford.

2. In Berlin, last fall the government changed, from Red-Red (SPD, Left) to Red-Black (SPD, CDU). The health department went from Left to CDU (Christian Democrats), the department of urban development and health stayed with the SPD (Socialdemocrats). The basic report on EJ in Berlin, coordinated by Dr. Klimeczek (already mentioned in this newsletter), has not yet been published by the Berlin Senat (government). It is now sent out to the Bezirke (lower administrative levels) for comment. This is meant to integrate more the communal level, which is decisive for the planned implementation.

3. The Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH; German Environmental AID) has published the proceedings of a workshop on "EJ and biodiversity" in November 2011 in Berlin, which focussed on inner-city green spaces.

4. The Berlin Mieter-Magazin (Tenants´ Magazine) (print: 120.000) focussed in December 2011 on EJ in Berlin.

5. The Deutsche Institut für Urbanistik (DIFU; German Institute for Town Planning) in Berlin, does a project on "EJ in urban areas" for the Umweltbundesamt (UBA; Federal Environmental Ageny), from 2012-14. This project is aimed at developing methods to implement EJ on the communal level.

6. The Bayerische Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit (Bavarian Provincial Agency for Health and Food Safety) held a congress on "Healthy environment - healthy population" in November 2011. EJ was one subject among others.

7. Until June 2012 the DUH (Deutsche Umwelthilfe) searches five model projects for "EJ and participation".

8. The US journal "Environmental Justice" publishes now six instead of four issues per year. The last issues dealt with climate migration, "citizen mapping" as a community- and web-based approach for data collection, EJ in "native America" (all of issue 4/2011), EJ and gentrification.

New publications on EJ: ... see references.


NUG # 16 (7/2012)

1. An anthology on the state of environmental justice (EJ) in Germany has been published (examples see below):

Gabriele Bolte, Christiane Bunge, Claudia Hornberg, Heike Köckler, Andreas Mielck eds, Umweltgerechtigkeit. Chancengleichheit bei Umwelt und Gesundheit: Konzepte, Datenlage und Handlungsperspektiven. Huber, Bern, 2012.

The number, variety and spectrum of 48 contributions (by 59 authors on 440 pages) indicates that EJ has moved forward in Germany - ten years ago, there was just a handful of active researchers!

2. The same holds for the Umwelt & Mensch-Informationsdienst (UMID), which is published by four federal institutes: BfS (radiation protection), BfR (risk assessment), RKI (Robert-Koch-Institut) and UBA (environmental agency). In 2011, its second special issue on EJ (with 62 authors) appeared. Main focus was the project "EJ in Berlin", presented in nine articles.

3. Also in 2011, Hornberg, Bunge and Pauli published a monography on "strategies for more EJ".

4. WHO-Europe published a report on "environmental health inequalities", with several references to EJ.

5. DIFU (Deutsche Institut für Urbanistik) in Berlin is doing a project for UBA on "EJ in the city" (2012 - 2014). In November 2012, DIFU will have a strategic conference on this issue.

6. New issues of the "Environmental Justice" journal deal, e.g., with the following topics: EJ in Latin America (the whole issue 2/2012; focus on access to water), Fukushima, the extreme environmental pollution in the Niger delta caused by Shell (see below).

New publications on EJ: ... see references.



-> back to beginning


-> back to start page