The relationship between environmental sustainability and a concept that is central to politics, justice, has become an increasingly important preoccupation of green political theorists (Dobson, 1998; Wenz, 1988). The question here is the degree to which protecting the environment can be regarded as just. The concept of justice has been a key concern for political philosophers dating back at least to the Greeks. A simplistic definition is that justice is about distributing benefits and burdens according to what recipients are due (Campbell, 1988: 19). Defining the concept is the easy task. It is a much more difficult, not to say contentious, matter to decide what these benefits and burdens are, how they are to be distributed, to whom and by whom. The advantage of securing the protection of the environment as a matter of justice is that it represents a strong form of entitlement, to be distinguished from charity or benevolence. Conventionally, in liberal democracies, justice will be protected through constitutionally entrenched provisions which cannot be undone by majoritarianism (Hayward, 2005).
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