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Examining the concepts of 'ethics' and 'justice' as they apply to the environment, this book starts from the observation that environmental ethics and environmental justice appear to have few points of contact. It attempts to find a common ground between these two strands and so to develop a unified statement of justice for the environment that includes the insights of both approaches.
Adrian Armstrong argues that the standard account of justice is too anthropocentric, and attempts to provide an alternative account of justice, based on Nussbaum's capabilities approach, in which the needs of animals, ecosystems and the earth are identified and given moral consideration. Although the two movements do not come together at the theoretical level, this book shows that they do so at the grass roots activist level, and provides a review of the extent to which the environmental justice movement - primarily an American phenomenon - can be used to inform environmental ethical approaches suitable for use in resolving current issues. Beyond identifying justice, practical considerations require rules for the resolutions of conflicts of interest, particularly between human and environmental needs. Thus Ethics and Justice for the Environment explores the value of the approach by considering three areas of applicability: climate change and energy use; human relations with animals, and direct protest action.