Justice in the Global Economy: What It Means for Earth-Care

on Sunday, 11 December 2016. Posted in Environment, Economics, Current

Catherine Devitt

pdfJustice in the Global Economy: What It Means for Earth-Care

The Report, Justice in the Global Economy, highlights the inter-relationship between environmental justice and economic justice. It points out that ‘the rate of extraction of natural resources cannot be sustained’ and warns that if consumption continues at the current pace ‘we face severe menaces to both ecological stability and human well-being’. It notes also that: ‘The harmful consequences of over-use and misuse of resources are ... unequally distributed’.1 

Emphasising the need to respond, the Report states: ‘Response to the challenges of economic justice should therefore be linked with a deepening of ecological and environmental responsibility’.2

This article expands on the main points in the Report regarding what it terms ‘the unattended fragility of our common home’.3 The article presents key research findings showing the impact of economic activity on the environment over the last number of decades; it raises concerns regarding the threat to social justice arising out of the environmental crisis; and highlights the growing trend towards relegating society’s response to environmental challenges to market-based policies. The article concludes with a look at how the Ignatian family can respond.

Consuming Infinitely on a Planet with Finite Resources
Economic development and globalisation have generated considerable benefits for humanity, not least in terms of human communication and interconnectedness. However, these processes are also pushing our planetary system towards breaking point. Since the middle of the twentieth century, the global economic system – driven by international trade, resource extraction, and consumption (predominantly by the OECD countries) – has ousted all other factors as the primary force of Earth-system change.4 In other words, human activity has become the main driver of climatic and environmental change, prompting some scientists to propose that the planet has entered a new geological epoch, which they term the Anthropocene.5 

Although the Anthropocene is generally regarded as starting with the onset of industrialisation, half of the total rise in atmospheric CO2 (since the preindustrial era) has occurred in the last thirty years.6 A number of socio-economic indicators underpin this recent change: dramatic increases in population, primary energy use, fertilizer consumption, real GDP and foreign direct investment, water use and the number of large dams, paper production, telecommunications and transportation, and international tourism.7,8  

Economic growth, as generally measured, is very unevenly distributed. In 2010, OECD countries comprised just 18 percent of the world’s population, yet accounted for 74 percent of global GDP.9  Furthermore, and crucially, the upward trajectory of indicators of output and consumption over recent decades reflects an economic model that presumes infinite growth within a system which has, in fact, limited and finite resources bounded by ecological thresholds.10 

In 2009, the concept of ‘planetary boundaries’ was adopted by 28 scientists to refer to the biophysical and self-regulating processes of the Earth’s system.11 Nine boundaries were identified: climate change, ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone, global phosphorus and nitrogen cycles, atmospheric aerosol loading, freshwater use, land use change, biosphere integrity, and chemical pollution. Four of these boundaries – climate change, loss in biosphere integrity, land system change, and phosphorus and nitrogen cycles – have now been crossed as a result of human activity.12 Crossing these boundaries can not only cause irreversible environmental change, but also create significant risks to human society. 

The resulting environmental harm often goes unchecked by governments. In some cases, the pursuit of profit is incentivised through the extension of special privileges to companies (for example, tax breaks and subsidies, relaxed planning laws, privatisation, the leasing of public lands), with these measures in many cases reflecting how policy-making can be ‘captured’ by special interests. Over the last two decades, the level of investment across the world in public transport, renewable energy and improved energy efficiency, ecosystem conservation, and sustainable food production pales in comparison to the flow of capital and policy support directed towards fossil fuels, property and financial assets, and specific business interests.13,14  This is despite widespread scientific agreement regarding the human-induced nature of climate change and environmental decline.

Of course, none of this can be disassociated from how and what society consumes. In his encyclical, Laudato Si’: Care for our Common Home, Pope Francis talks of the ‘whirlwind of needless buying and spending’ (§ 203). The Indian eco-activist and feminist, Vandana Shiva, argues that short-life consumer products are destroying our future, have a harmful effect on poorer communities and, as she puts it, lubricate ‘a war against the earth’.15

The Cry of the Poor, the Cry of the Earth
Some of the current patterns of economic development and resource use have significant implications for human rights, social equity and democracy. Over the last decade, increasing demand for food, fuel and commodities has resulted in a surge in land acquisition, often without the consent of people living and working on that land.16

In 2016, Global Witness, the non-governmental organisation which investigates instances of environmental and human rights abuses, reported that 2015 was the worst year on record for the killing of environmental activists – with 185 such deaths recorded in over 16 countries.17 Indigenous people are worst hit, and most of the killings in 2015 were linked to the mining and extractive industries, followed by agribusiness, logging and hydroelectric dams. Many of these industries are highly dependent on foreign exports and capital from counties such as the United States, Australia, Canada, and China, and the bulk of their products (for example, those derived from intensive logging and agribusiness, including pulp and paper, sugar and coffee, soybean and grain) are exported to the US and to EU destinations.18

Generally, poorer communities are more likely to be exposed to air pollution (increasing the risk of asthma, cardiovascular problems and cancer),19,20 to poor water quality and water contamination,21  and, increasingly, to the effects of climate change because of locational vulnerability.22,23 Proximity to what are often framed as ‘environmental risks’ – flooding, drought, air pollution, water contamination – is uneven, and often those most affected are communities which are already vulnerable and marginalised, and lack the capacity to protect or adapt.24

Justice in the Global Economy notes that the pursuit of profit by powerful business interests, and the reluctance of governments to regulate the activities of these groups, can ‘effectively displace local people, forcing them to migrate’; those displaced often include ‘indigenous people, landless settlers, farmers and the rural poor’.25 For such people, migration reflects their struggle for survival and the absence of any real choice in their lives – choice which is typically afforded to those who contribute the greatest, in the first instance, to the ecological and social harm that excludes and displaces poorer communities. There is also a gender dimension – as acknowledged in Justice in the Global Economy: ‘Women are more prone to poverty and unequal economic opportunity than are men’.26 With climate change this exposure is amplified.27,28 Even in the environmental sciences, decision-making and policy-formation, women’s voices do not always feature.29,30 

The choices made in responding to social and environmental crises can result in the further entrenching of certain economic paradigms and social inequalities. In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, for instance, critics condemned the neoliberal agenda underpinning reconstruction efforts within the country as consolidating poverty and social inequality across the Haitian population.31,32 New Orleans – pre and post-Hurricane Katrina – provides another example.33,34  

We can also look at countries with advanced economies, including Ireland, where householder protection against flooding (which may be a regular occurrence in certain areas) is channelled through the realm of private insurance, with little consideration for important questions regarding vulnerability, or government responsibility in providing individual household protection.35,36,37

Social and financial crises, such as the financial collapse of 2008, can reduce and erode the adaptive capacity of communities to respond to environmental problems.38,39 This is especially the case in societies where the rate of environmental change is occurring far more rapidly than is any increase in the ability of communities to respond; the implications in terms of poverty and social inequality are significant.40,41 Yet increasingly (certainly in Western societies at least), pro-environmental behaviour and protection against environmental problems is framed as the responsibility of the individual – regardless of their capacity to respond, their ecological footprint, or their exposure to injustices.42

Communities are locked into a cycle of poverty and vulnerability, and the ability to avoid or escape this cycle or attempt to mitigate or adapt to environmental problems depends on adaptive capacity. As one commentary has noted, adaptive capacity depends on ‘how much income we have, where we live, which social class we belong to and whether we suffer discrimination in other areas of our lives’.43

The Problem of ‘the Market Knowing Best’
A number of examples show how, increasingly, market principles are being applied to the natural world and to the management of environmental problems.44 A clear trend has emerged towards ‘putting a price’ on nature (or, rather, those aspects of nature deemed to be desirable and valuable) and on the social, economic and cultural functions that arise from ‘ecosystem services’ (i.e., the social, cultural, spiritual and economic services that nature offers). Thus ‘conservation management’ based on market principles is put forward as having the potential to achieve what politics has failed to do in terms of ensuring environmental protection.45

In his book on the historical trajectory of money and economics (Sacred Economics, 2011), author Charles Eisenstein argues that in contemporary society money is made sacred ‘by backing it with the things that have become sacred to us ... [Money is aligned] with the things we hold sacred’.47 Writer and environmental activist, George Monbiot, argues that, through the processes of ecological modernisation, soil, rivers, hills, forests, grasslands are now seen as offering ‘ecosystem services’, ‘green infrastructure’, and are considered ‘asset classes’ within an ‘ecosystem market’.

Nature – the interconnected web of life – becomes ‘natural capital’, and market principles and mechanisms provide the preferred solution for setting the price that correctly reflects the value of protecting the environment or using it sustainably. In this model, nature can now be ‘offset’, enabling its monetary value to be compensated for elsewhere and, in effect, allowing for a continuance of business-as-usual.48

The cap and trade-based emissions trading scheme provides another example of relegating environmental problems to the market. Aspects that lead to the failure of this approach have been criticised by a number of commentators, including Pope Francis who regards the emissions scheme as providing a new form of speculation, which fails to allow for the radical and deep transformation that is now so urgently required (Laudato Si’, §171). Francis directs similar criticism towards the reliance on technology as a means of mitigating climate change:

Technology, which, linked to business interests, is presented as the only way of solving these problems, in fact  proves incapable of seeing the mysterious network of relations between things and so sometimes solves one problem only to create others.(Laudato Si’, §20)

No Planet BThere is no Planet B! - iStock photoThis raises the question: are the technological solutions mentioned in the Paris Agreement on climate change (2015) simply a greening of business-as-usual – ‘bio-fuelling the Hummer’, as political scientist John Barry puts it – allowing the persistence of what is an unsustainable system, responding to the problem without tackling the cause?49 As Barry argues, what is absent are not the relevant technologies but rather political will, leadership and public pressure.

Relegating society’s response to environmental challenges to market principles may reduce the potential opportunity for societal transformation. Ireland’s long-awaited legislation on climate, the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, is framed as a response to an economic challenge: the word ‘society’ does not appear in the Act. The current government’s plan to use monoculture forestry as a form of carbon sequestration (while continuing the harvesting of peatland carbon sinks for industrial purposes), reflects a perspective which sees climate change as an opportunity for market investment with little room for consideration of what might be the wider social or biodiversity impacts of the solutions being put forward.50 In many of the political conversations on solutions to climate change, there is a notable absence of any reference to the need to reduce consumption. 

Justice in the Global Economy points out that:

Markets do not have the social conscience, environmental ethic, or long-term vision needed to promote the common good of a stable environment that is shared inclusively and fairly ...51

It needs to be borne in mind also that commitments made by government and industry to take action in response to environmental problems cannot necessarily be taken as indicators of success by social and environmental groups which have advocated for environmental justice. Commonly used concepts such as ‘sustainable development’ and ‘low carbon transition’ need to be critically appraised by asking who development is for, by whom, and at what cost to social equity and environmental protection.

Where Do We Go from Here?
We are invited to balance our existential need to view the world as a collection of means for meeting our ends with not forgetting the Earth is also a realm of meaning, of moral and spiritual significance.52
Improving and sustaining human well-being and simultaneously protecting the environment require us to rethink how we organise ourselves economically and socially in contemporary society. This vision needs to allow for a just and socially inclusive transition to a low carbon system.53

Undoubtedly, better public policies and regulation are required, aimed at correcting market forces which ignore or neglect social and environmental costs, while decoupling economic activity from environmental decline. While some policies have been successful – for example, in addressing acidification and ambient air pollution – much more substantial progress is urgently required in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (and tackling climate injustice) and in ensuring the protection and promotion of biodiversity.

If we are to meaningfully respond to the unfolding implications of climate change, in terms of scale, scope and interconnectedness, a radical transformation in economic and social structures is needed – and in the words of Davoudi et al. (2013) this will require a ‘high degree of imagination, creativity and political will’.54

Time for a New Story
While the inter-relationship between poverty and environmental decline is evident, it must be recognised that efforts to address the latter often run the risk of reinforcing cycles of poverty. For example, environmental conservation policies can result in population displacement, and measures to effect the transition to a low carbon society mean that many communities around the world dependent on the fossil fuel industry for employment face the prospect of job losses.

As the world sets to reduce carbon emissions under the Paris Agreement, meaningful employment alternatives developed through social dialogue and participation will be necessary. This is where the concept of a ‘just transition’ is important: as highlighted in Justice in the Global Economy, local communities must be protected and decent jobs provided.

Today’s challenges reflect an economic model that is no longer socially and ecologically sustainable. It is necessary to tell ourselves a new story. Justice in the Global Economy echoes Laudato Si’ in suggesting that ‘education’ and ‘action’ are essential elements of a response aimed at averting ecological and social breakdown. It is here that Jesuit institutions – schools, universities, centres and ministries – can play an important role, as acknowledged in the Report.

In the transformation towards caring for our common home, there are a number of fundamental, related questions. How do we create an economic model that integrates environmental protection, promotes social equity and encourages self-imposed limits as being a fundamental part of what it means to be human? How do we unravel the thinking that positions humankind as ‘agent’, in control of and in domination over nature, as ‘object’? How do we create an eco-centric awareness of our own humble position within a much larger planetary community? How do we start seeing environmental problems, not as single issues, but as representing much broader considerations for human security and justice, ethics, moral responsibility and democracy?55

Conclusion: The Ignatian Response
What is clear is the need for us to be awakened by the greater realisation that, in the words of American academic, Mary E. Tucker, ‘in rethinking the various interrelated strands of globalisation now engulfing the planet, it is critical that we recognize that our common future rests ... on our common ground – the planet itself’.56 

Elements of this rethinking are already apparent in an expanding global awareness of the gravity of the situation, and a willingness to accept that action is required. Yet, arguably, this awareness has not yet translated into the kind of radical response that is needed to effectively challenge the prevailing orthodoxy.

Religious communities potentially have an important role to play. Such communities ‘... have always shared and dynamized civilisations...’; they can encourage ‘civil societies in their efforts to create institutions and programs promoting sustainability’; and they ‘can make a contribution to reshaping current globalization trends within this framework of an emerging global ethics and an attempt to create a sustainable planetary civilisation’.57  

Catholic social teaching – with its emphasis on core principles such as human dignity, the common good, human flourishing, and social solidarity – provides a solid basis to help bring about the much-needed interior, community and ecological conversion that Pope Francis regards as essential. 

In environmental terms, we are embedded in a web of ecological relationships essential to our well-being and life-chances. Moreover, this web extends indefinitely in time, and must be sustained over generations: the injunction to love thy neighbour can be seen as part of a covenant that enjoins us to ensure that the conditions for human flourishing extend beyond our own place and time.58

Although environmental issues were referred to in 34th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (an assembly of Jesuit representatives from around the world), held in 1995, concern for ecology was given greater emphasis at the 35th General Congregation in 2008. Under the broad theme of ‘Reconciliation’, and right or just relationships, care for creation was incorporated into the Society’s Mission, based on the understanding that ecological concern and care for the earth are necessary components of a just relationship with each other, and with God, and are fundamental to the Christian experience.

By highlighting the gravity of the socio-ecological crisis, Justice in the Global Economy follows on from earlier Jesuit publications including Healing a Broken World (2011) and A Spirituality that Reconciles us with Creation (2013). Healing a Broken World especially provides a useful guide to inspire action, particularly among Jesuit organisations, and complements the recommendations presented in Justice in the Global Economy.

People and places have value beyond measure, and rescuing them from commercial exploitation is crucial to human flourishing. As a response to the Report’s call for a new spirituality and a new way of understanding personal well-being, Ignatian spirituality can offer to help realise the inner peace that Pope Francis believes is so closely related to Earth-care. Joseph Carver SJ and other Jesuits have already considered this potential in reflections on ecology and Ignatian spirituality.59,60,61 
The various resources, networks and institutions available worldwide to the Jesuits can help the Ignatian family strengthen its position as an instrument for economic and environmental justice and reconciliation. But while education and awareness-raising for individuals are important aspects of a response to the environmental crisis, their impact will be limited if questions relating to structural issues and policy frameworks are not addressed through research and advocacy. Work already taking place across Jesuits communities offers reasons to feel hopeful – for example (to name just a few):

  • the Justice in Mining network (a global Ignatian advocacy network defending communities affected by mining activities);
  • the ‘sustainability’ and ‘green campus’ initiatives at Loyola University Chicago;
  • the decision (announced 14 October 2016) by Jesuits in the English Canada Province to divest from investments in fossil fuel industries;
  • the ecology focus at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario, Canada: 
  • the work of ‘Ecology and Jesuits in Communication’ (EcoJesuit);
  • Healing Earth, an online textbook for students;
  • Pan-Amazonian project – a joint venture of Jesuits working with indigenous communities;
  • Flights for Forests – a carbon offset initiative by the Jesuits in the Asia Pacific. 

We are all called to help realise the dream of American Jesuit, John Surette SJ, who wrote:

In my dream, this future begins with embedding our passionate love of humanity within an equally passionate love of Earth and its web of life. This love will lead us into working with others to bring about a mutually enhancing relationship between Earth and its human community.62


  1. Promotio Iustitiae (2016) Justice in the Global Economy, Building Sustainable and Inclusive Communities, Promotio Iustitiae, No. 121, 2016/1. Rome: Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat at the General Curia of the Society of Jesus, p. 19.
  2. Ibid., p. 21.
  3. Ibid., p. 19.
  4. International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) Great Acceleration. (Available at: http://www.igbp.net/globalchange/greatacceleration.4.1b8ae20512db692f2a680001630.html)
  5. Steffan, W., Crutzen, P. and McNeill, J. (2007) ‘The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature?’, AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, Vol. 36 (8): pp. 614–621.
  6. International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). Great Acceleration. (Available at: http://www.igbp.net/globalchange/greatacceleration.4.1b8ae20512db692f2a680001630.html)
  7. Steffan, W., Crutzen, P. and McNeill, J. (2007) ‘The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature?’, AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, Vol. 36 (8), pp. 614–621.
  8. Steffan, W., Broadgate, W., Deutsch, L., Gaffney, O. and Ludwig, C. (2015) ‘The Trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration’, The Anthropocene Review, Vol. 2(1), pp. 81–89.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Jackson, T. (2009) Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet. Oxford: Earthscan.
  11. Rockström, J., W. Steffen, K. Noone, Å. Persson, F. S. Chapin, III, E. Lambin, T. M. Lenton, M. Scheffer, C. Folke, H. Schellnhuber, B. Nykvist, C. A. De Wit, T. Hughes, S. van der Leeuw, H. Rodhe, S. Sörlin, P. K. Snyder, R. Costanza, U. Svedin, M. Falkenmark, L. Karlberg, R. W. Corell, V. J. Fabry, J. Hansen, B. Walker, D. Liverman, K. Richardson, P. Crutzen, and J. Foley (2009) ‘Planetary boundaries: exploring the safe operating space for humanity’, Ecology and Society, 14(2), pp. 32–55.  (Available at: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art32/)
  12. Steffen, W. et al. (2015) ‘Planetary Boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet’, Science, Vol. 347 (6223), DOI: 10.1126/science.1259855
  13. Overseas Development Institute (2016) Empty Promises: G20 Subsidies to Oil, Gas and Coal Production. London: Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International. (Available at: https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/9958.pdf )
  14. Here in Ireland, the government has been criticised for pursuing a policy of agricultural intensification, despite the contribution of the beef and dairy sector to Ireland’s emissions output, and the negative impact on Ireland’s water and terrestrial habitats. For more on this, see Stop Climate Chaos and Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership (2016), Not So Green: Debunking the Myths around Irish Agriculture. (Available at: http://www.stopclimatechaos.ie/download/pdf/not_so_green.pdf)
  15. Shiva, V. (2012) Making Peace with the Earth. London: Pluto Press.
  16. Global Witness (2016) Tainted Lands: Corruption in Large-Scale Land Deals. London: Global Witness. (Available at: https://www.globalwitness.org/en/reports/tainted-lands-corruption-large-scale-land-deals/)
  17. Global Witness (2016) On Dangerous Ground. London: Global Witness. (Available at: https://www.globalwitness.org/en/reports/dangerous-ground/)
  18. Ibid.
  19. Frosch-Morello, R. and Jesdale, BM. (2006) ‘Separate and unequal: residential segregation and estimated cancer risks associated with ambient air toxics in U.S. metropolitan areas’, Environmental Health Perspective, Vol. 114(3), pp. 386–393.
  20. Jia, C., James, W. and Kedia, S. (2014) ‘Relationship of racial composition and cancer risks from air toxics in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.’, International Journal of Research in Public Health, Vol. 11(8): pp. 7713–24.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Godfrey, P. and Torres, D. (2016) Systemic Crises of Global Climate Change. New York: Routledge.
  23. Pope Francis points out: ‘Inequity affects not only individuals but entire countries; it compels us to consider an ethics of international relations. A true ‘ecological debt’ exists, particularly between the global north and south, connected to commercial imbalances with effects on the environment, and the disproportionate use of natural resources by certain countries over long periods of time.’ (Laudato Si’, § 51)
  24. Cutter, S. (2006) Hazards, Vulnerability and Environmental Justice. New York: Earthscan.
  25. Promotio Iustitiae (2016) Justice in the Global Economy, Building Sustainable and Inclusive Communities, Promotio Iustitiae, No. 121, 2016/1. Rome: Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat at the General Curia of the Society of Jesus.
  26. Ibid., p. 9.
  27. See: United Nations Women Watch (2009) Women, Gender Equality and Climate Change Fact Sheet. (Available at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/climate_change/factsheet.html)
  28. See: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2014) Gender and Climate Change. (Available at: http://unfccc.int/gender_and_climate_change/items/7516.php) 
  29. UN Women and the Mary Robinson Foundation (2013) The Full View: Advancing the Goal of Gender Balance in Multilateral and Intergovernmental Processes. New York and Dublin: UN Women and the Mary Robinson Foundation. (Available at: http://www.mrfcj.org/pdf/2013-06-07_The-Full-View.pdf)
  30. Augustenborg, C. (2016) ‘It’s a Man’s World When it comes to Climate Change’, Washington Post, 1 November 2016. (Available at; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-cara-augustenborg/its-a-mans-world-when-it-comes-to-climate-change_b_12722490.html) 
  31. Edmonds, K. (2012) ‘Beyond Good Intentions: The Structural Limitations of NGOs in Haiti’, Critical Sociology, Vol. 39(3), pp. 439–452.
  32. The well-known social and environmental activist Naomi Klein uses the concept of disaster capitalism to explain the exploitation of crisis events to push through specific economic policies. See: http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine/resources/disaster-capitalism-in-action/tags/haiti
  33. Tierney, K. (2015) ‘Resilience and the Neoliberal Project: Discourses, Critiques, Practices – and Katrina’, American Behavioural Scientist, Vol. 59(10), pp. 1327–1342.
  34. Leichenko, R. and O’Brien, K. (2008) Environmental Change and Globalization – Double Exposures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  35. Devitt, C. and O’Neill, E. (2016) ‘The framing of two major flood episodes in the Irish print news media: Implications for societal adaptation to living with flood risk’, Public Understanding of Science, doi:10.1177/0963662516636041 
  36. Jeffers, J. (2013) ‘Integrating vulnerability analysis and risk assessment in flood loss mitigation: An evaluation of barriers and challenges based on evidence from Ireland’, Applied Geography, Vol. 37, pp. 44–51.
  37. The justice implication of relying on private householder insurance are also discussed by O’Neill, J. and O’Neill, M. (2012) Social Justice and the Future of Flood Insurance. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. (Available at: http://philpapers.org/archive/ONESJA.pdf )
  38. Shine, T. and Desmond, M. (2011) Climate Change Research Programme (CCRP) 2007–2013. Report Series No. 9. Wexford, Ireland: Environmental Protection Agency.
  39. This has led some to explore what might be the implications of an eroding social contract between governments and citizens for how communities adapt to the realities of a changing climate and the extent to which communities may become more vulnerable. For example: Adger, W. N., Quinn, T., Lorenzoni, I., Murphy, C. and Sweeney, J. (2013) ‘Changing social contracts in climate-change adaptation’, Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, pp. 330–333. (Available at: http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/4948/1/CM_Changing%20social.pdf)
  40. Leichenko, R. and O’Brien, K. (2008) Environmental Change and Globalization – Double Exposures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  41. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Current State and Trends. Washington: Island Press. (Available at: http://www.unep.org/maweb/en/Condition.aspx)
  42. Pope Francis has stated: ‘Social problems must be addressed by community networks and not simply by the sum of individual good deeds.’ (Laudato Si’, §219)
  43. Bhatti, M. and Dixon, A. (2010) ‘Special Focus: Housing, Environment and Sustainability’, Housing Studies, Vol. 18(4), pp. 501–504
  44. Fuentes-George, K. (2013) ‘Neoliberalism, Environmental Justice, and the Convention on Biological Diversity: How Problematizing the Commodification of Nature Affects Regime Effectiveness’, Global Environmental Politics, 13(4), pp.144–163.
  45. An example of this approach is the following: ‘… the environment is part of the economy and needs to be properly integrated into it so that growth opportunities will not be missed’. Extract taken from: Natural Capital Committee (2014) The State of Natural Capital: Restoring our Natural Assets. (Available at: https://nebula.wsimg.com/b34b945ccada11d4e11a23441245d600?AccessKeyId=68F83A8E994328D64D3D&disposition=0&alloworigin=1)
  46. Eisenstein, C. (2011) Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. California: Evolver Editions.
  47. See insightful blog post from Monbiot, G. (2014)  ‘The Pricing of Everything’. (Available at: http://www.monbiot.com/2014/07/24/the-pricing-of-everything/)
  48. Maron, M. et al. (2015) ‘Conservation: Stop misuse of biodiversity offsets’, Nature, 22 July 2015. (Available at: http://www.nature.com/news/conservation-stop-misuse-of-biodiversity-offsets-1.18010)
  49. Barry, J. (2016) ‘Bio-fuelling the Hummer? Transdisciplinary thoughts on techno-optimism and innovation in the transition from unsustainability’ in Byrne, E., Mullally, G. and Sage, C. (eds.) Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Transitions to Sustainability, Oxford: Taylor and Francis,
        pp. 106–123.
  50. For more on this issue, see Stop Climate Chaos and Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership (2016) Not So Green: Debunking the Myths around Irish Agriculture. (Available at: www.stopclimatechaos.ie/download/pdf/not_so_green.pdf) 
  51. Justice in the Global Economy, p. 20.
  52. Barry, J. (2015). ‘Thoughts of a lapsed Catholic Environmentalist on Pope Francis’s Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis on Care for Our Common Home’, in ‘Seeing the Woods: A Blog by the Rachel Carson Centre’. (Available at: https://seeingthewoods.org/2015/08/20/thoughts-of-a-lapsed-catholic-environmentalist-on-pope-franciss-encyclical-letter-laudato-si-of-the-holy-father-francis-on-care-for-our-common-home/)
  53. Dorr, D. (2015) ‘Ecological Economics and Politics in the Ecology Encyclical’, Working Notes (Journal of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice), Issue 77, September 2015. (Available at: http://www.workingnotes.ie/index.php/component/zoo/category/issue-77-caring-for-our-common-home?Itemid=155)
  54. Davoudi, S., Brooks, E. and Mehmood, A. (2013) ‘Evolutionary Resilience and Strategies for Climate Adaptation’, Planning Practice and Research, Vol. 28(3), p. 318.
  55. In answering these questions, we need to begin from the standpoint of the principles of environmental justice – distributive justice, procedural justice, policy justice – while working in collaboration with vulnerable communities who are experiencing first-hand the effects of social injustice, environmental degradation and climate change.
  56. Tucker, M.E. (2005) ‘Globalization and the Environment’ (pp.90–91) in Coleman, J. and Ryan, W. (eds.) Globalization and Catholic Social Thought: Present Crisis, Future Hope. New York: Novalis, p. 91.
  57. Ibid., pp. 87–113.
  58. Christie, I. Human Flourishing and the Environment. Human Flourishing Project. Briefing Paper 5. (Available at: http://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/files/files/05_Christie_Environment.pdf)
  59. Carver SJ, J. ‘Ignatian Spirituality and Ecology: entering into conversation’. (Available at: http://www.sjweb.info/sjs/pjnew/PJShow.cfm?pubTextID=10153)
  60. García SJ, J.A. (2014) Ecology and Ignatian Spirituality. Ecojesuit website, 15 February 2014. (Available at: http://www.ecojesuit.com/ecology-and-ignatian-spirituality/6335/)
  61. Profit SJ, J. (2004) ‘Spiritual Exercises and Ecology’, Promotio Iustitiae, No. 82, 2004/1, Rome: Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat, General Curia of the Society of Jesus, pp. 6–11. (Available at: http://www.sjweb.info/documents/sjs/pj/docs_pdf/PJ_082_ENG.pdf)
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    Catherine Devitt is the Environmental Justice Officer with the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, Dublin, Ireland.