We go on and on about how we need to save the environment, we constantly engage in debates about whether climate change is real, we are always on the run to find novel and innovative solutions to climate science, alas we still are way far behind. Taking actions to save the environment and always being on the lookout to ensuring a sustainable future, we are bound to always come up with questions. Questions like we are doing all this for whom. Now, the obvious answer to this question would be, for us, we are taking actions against climate change, for us. However, does that ‘us’ include the marginalized communities? Some of us are fortunate enough to be living in a safe and clean and protected environment, and we need to accept the fact that we are indeed privileged. The sad truth, not everyone is. Black and brown communities, other minorities and low-income communities are often neglected in the environmental policies.
Studies have shown that people from low-income communities, black and brown communities find it harder to live in an environment with clean air and water and natural spaces. Worse still, minority and low-income groups were statistically more likely to live in areas where hazardous waste, landfills, roads, and other environmental risks were present. This environmental injustice made the people in the environmental science community raise questions, such as, who are the people who are actually protected by environmental policies and institutions.
This is where intersectional environmentalism springs up. Environmental justice is at the
crossroads of social justice and environmentalism, taking into account injustice in environmental
degradation. This is a more inclusive form of environmentalism that advocates for both human
and environmental conservation. It examines how injustices against vulnerable populations and
the environment are intertwined. It advocates for justice for people + the planet.