Fighting Poverty Has Positive Inpacts On Promoting Sustainability

Economic justice and sustainability common solutions are very much related to each other as the decline of environmental protection is related to the rise of poverty. Here are some views how sustainability can be helped by fighting poverty.

There are common environments shared by all of us, such as the atmosphere, oceans, rivers, forests and open spaces. Also, the commons used by all of us may include public parks, beaches, forests, streets, public transit systems, public schools and universal healthcare. All these commons have benefits for us, the question is how to develop these commons so as everyone can have access at little cost. These commons are examples where the environmental benefits intersect with economic development and social equity. Healthy commons promote healthy ecosystems and for that we need to embrace policies that reverse the ongoing degradation and help the implementation of sustainability. We need to recognize that we are not apart from nature but part of it. 

Indeed fighting of poverty helps to promote sustainability and many sustainability initiatives are also good for fighting poverty. The rise of poverty and the decline of environmental protections are two correlating trends but usually seen as unrelated. Poverty makes communities more susceptible to exploitation by corporations that want to take advantage of their natural resources. While wealthy communities are able to use their social and political capital to impose resistance against corporations to dump toxins into their rivers, construct landfills near their schools, and sell their wildlife refuges for property development, capital that poor communities do not have. The fracking industry is, for example, using its economic leverage over communities by buying out homeowners for the right to drill on their land. When residents are faced with the health effects of contaminated water supplies and air pollution the same corporations buy their silence with nondisclosure agreements.

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