3. Carmen G. Gonzalez, An environmental justice critique of biofuels. This chapter examines the intersection of environmental justice and energy justice at the international level in the context of biofuels law and policy. Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels derived from renewable organic matter has been promoted as a means of mitigating climate change, achieving energy security, and fostering economic development in countries that produce crops used as biofuel feedstocks. The chapter examines the impact of the laws and policies driving the biofuels boom, and concludes that they have contributed to global malnourishment by raising food prices and have accelerated the large-scale acquisition of arable lands in poor countries that displace vulnerable local communities. To add insult to injury, many of these biofuels emit more greenhouse gases than the fossil fuels they replace, and degrade soil and water in the countries where biofuel feedstocks are cultivated. The chapter discusses governance strategies to foster a more equitable and sustainable approach to bioenergy.
Carmen G. Gonzalez
From the Ogoni people devastated by oil drilling in Nigeria to the Inuit and other indigenous populations threatened by climate change, communities disparately burdened by environmental degradation are increasingly framing their demands for environmental justice in the language of environmental human rights. However, some scholars have expressed scepticism about the environmental human rights project. First, they remind us that the human rights governance capacity of many states in the global South has been compromised by the neoliberal economic reforms imposed by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as well as by trade and investment agreements. Second, they question the ability of human rights law to adequately articulate and advance the aspirations and resistance strategies of diverse grassroots social justice movements, and warn us about the susceptibility of human rights law to co-optation by powerful Northern states. This Chapter examines the promise and the peril of environmental human rights as a means of challenging environmental injustice within nations and the North-South dimension of environmental injustice.
Edited by Raya Salter, Carmen G. Gonzalez and Elizabeth A. Kronk Warner
Raya Salter, Carmen G. Gonzalez and Elizabeth Ann Kronk Warner
1. Raya Salter, Carmen G. Gonzalez, and Elizabeth Ann Kronk Warner, Energy justice: frameworks for energy law and policy. This chapter provides an introduction to Energy Justice: US and International Perspectives. This volume is a pioneering analysis of energy law and policy through the framework of energy justice. While climate change has triggered unprecedented investment in renewable energy, the concept of energy justice and its practical application to energy law and policy remain under-theorized. This volume breaks new ground by examining a range of energy justice regulatory challenges from the perspective of international law, US law, and foreign domestic law. The chapters both illuminate the theory of energy justice and explain how energy justice might be applied in practice. The introductory chapter lays the foundation for the volume by examining the dominant definitions of energy justice and then discussing how these definitions intersect with environmental justice, human rights, climate justice, indigenous rights, and energy democracy. The goal of the volume is to invite further engagement with these linkages and to underscore the pressing need for practical solutions that hasten the transition from fossil fuels while addressing the inequities that plague energy systems.