A Theory of Environmental Justice
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The way humankind has changed the environment has been of grave concern in recent years. The call for environmental rights and justice for the environment has grown as a consequence. However, political theo- ries for environmental justice has fallen short until now. The Rawlsian framework seems promising, due to its full methodology and the large body of literature Rawls has written on the subject; however, Rawlsian justice is not without problems when scaled up to include the problem of environmental change. Rawlsian justice is necessarily anthropocentric and is based on rational maximisation. Within this thesis, the question will be posed as to whether a less anthropocentric, non-speciesist theory of environmental justice can be formulated within the Rawlsian framework. This has been done by integrating the difference principle posi- ted in A Theory of Justice with the proxy-entities proposed in The Law of Peoples. With a small extension of the definition of proxy-entitiy, the desires of non-human species could be taken into account within the ori- ginal position, which will require a fair conception of justice to take the environment into account. When considering Rawlsian justice as inclusive of non-human species, the original position in addition to the diffe- rence principle will provide ample grounds for a more full environmental justice. While it will be requiring from current society, this will be necessary when the current destruction of the environment is to be mitiga- ted.