Advanced

Air pollution and social inequality in the European Union

Gelotte, Maria LU (2017) SIMV20 20171
Graduate School
Master of Science in Social Studies of Gender
Abstract
Commonly, air pollution is treated by the European Union (EU) and its member states as a structural problem with technical, one-size-fit-all solutions. The EU has the ambition to follow the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals , Agenda 2030 , in which, for example, gender equality is highlighted. Yet, the legislation on toxic air does not explicitly mention how they aim to achieve social equality. Neither has it a gender or intersectional perspective, as far as I could find. Instead, the EU Sustainable Development Strategy rather focus on resource efficiency and ‘green’ economic growth as a trickle-down-theory solution.

Since 2008 is clean air stated as a human right in the United Kingdom (UK), but tens of thousands living in... (More)
Commonly, air pollution is treated by the European Union (EU) and its member states as a structural problem with technical, one-size-fit-all solutions. The EU has the ambition to follow the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals , Agenda 2030 , in which, for example, gender equality is highlighted. Yet, the legislation on toxic air does not explicitly mention how they aim to achieve social equality. Neither has it a gender or intersectional perspective, as far as I could find. Instead, the EU Sustainable Development Strategy rather focus on resource efficiency and ‘green’ economic growth as a trickle-down-theory solution.

Since 2008 is clean air stated as a human right in the United Kingdom (UK), but tens of thousands living in UK die every year as a result of toxic air. The environmental law organisation ClientEarth has sued the UK government on their lack of action on this, and won a precedential case in the European Court of Justice in 2014.

This study compares how the EU and ClientEarth speak about air pollution and social equality, foremost in regards to health and sustainable transport. None of the actors go into greater detail on how social categories such as those with lower socioeconomic status are affected differently by ambient air, and what can be done about it.

The essay therefore concludes that legislation on toxic air needs to be contextualised to a greater extent, including a macro perspective keeping social inequalities in mind. In other words; environmental justice - for whom? (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Gelotte, Maria LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMV20 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Air pollution, anthropology, environmental policy, the European Union, sustainability.
language
English
id
8939436
date added to LUP
2018-06-27 12:20:23
date last changed
2018-06-27 12:20:23
@misc{8939436,
  abstract     = {Commonly, air pollution is treated by the European Union (EU) and its member states as a structural problem with technical, one-size-fit-all solutions. The EU has the ambition to follow the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals , Agenda 2030 , in which, for example, gender equality is highlighted. Yet, the legislation on toxic air does not explicitly mention how they aim to achieve social equality. Neither has it a gender or intersectional perspective, as far as I could find. Instead, the EU Sustainable Development Strategy rather focus on resource efficiency and ‘green’ economic growth as a trickle-down-theory solution.

Since 2008 is clean air stated as a human right in the United Kingdom (UK), but tens of thousands living in UK die every year as a result of toxic air. The environmental law organisation ClientEarth has sued the UK government on their lack of action on this, and won a precedential case in the European Court of Justice in 2014.

This study compares how the EU and ClientEarth speak about air pollution and social equality, foremost in regards to health and sustainable transport. None of the actors go into greater detail on how social categories such as those with lower socioeconomic status are affected differently by ambient air, and what can be done about it.

The essay therefore concludes that legislation on toxic air needs to be contextualised to a greater extent, including a macro perspective keeping social inequalities in mind. In other words; environmental justice - for whom?},
  author       = {Gelotte, Maria},
  keyword      = {Air pollution,anthropology,environmental policy,the European Union,sustainability.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Air pollution and social inequality in the European Union},
  year         = {2017},
}