Latest from the Blog
By Nick Meynen. ‘We’re in front of the International Criminal Court now! We’re just about to get in. I’ll let you know when it’s done’. He hung up, went in …
By Nick Meynen. BREAKING NEWS: Julio Prieto, lawyer for 30.000 Ecuadorian victims of Texaco’s environmental liabilities in the Amazon, just filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The …
When to count the damage? Economic tools for evaluating liabilities in environmental justice struggles
[BRUSSELS, 20 October 2014] MEDIA RELEASE. The health and environmental implications of fossil fuel exploitation, nuclear waste or mining-related pollution are some of the more well-known effects of the increasing energy …
Chevron is loosing grip in the Ecuadorian case
GREAT news: the Canadian Bar Association has done an 11th-hour reversal and dropped plans to intervene at the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of Chevron Corp. in a high-profile battle involving Ecuadorean people. These villagers are trying to enforce a judgment from the Ecuadorean Court against Chevron for environmental pollution by a subsidiary. To fully understand how important this good news is, check the blog we published on this case only last week - and the hyperlinks in it. So maybe, Canada is not like the US (see picture)
Ejolt report 16: Economic tools for evaluating liabilities in environmental justice struggles. The EJOLT experience
The report can be downloaded here.
Collaboration to deploy economic evaluation tools is a recent form of interaction between academia and social movements as a means to pursue more sustainable futures. Specifically, academics and environmental justice organisations (EJOs) conduct monetary valuations, cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) and multi-criteria analyses (MCA), in order to explore and reveal the un-sustainability of environmentally controversial projects. The effectiveness of such evaluation tools for pursuing environmental justice is still a matter of debate.
In this document, we report on the EJOLT project experience of developing evaluation processes between EJOs and academics in the context of specific environmental justice struggles. This resulted in a mutual-learning process that explored the conditions under which CBA, MCA, and economic valuation tools can be either enabling or disabling for EJOs in their struggles for environmental justice.
The outcomes suggest that methods are more effectively used through carefully planned interventions supporting debates on local futures and visions, and when there are complementarities with regulatory and institutional developments. Oppositely, evaluation methods disable local mobilization when they force communities to bring their concerns into assessment schemes that do not fit their own languages and concerns, when they reproduce uneven power relations, or where public decisions have little to do with formulating and advancing ‘reasoned arguments’. Insights on the benefits from science-activism collaboration and recommendations on the use of evaluation tools are finally outlined.
Keywords: evaluation tools, environmental justice, environmental liabilities, cost-benefit analysis, multi-criteria analysis, monetary valuation
Authors: Christos Zografos and Beatriz Rodríguez-Labajos (ICTA-UAB). Contributions by: Cem İskender Aydin (UVSQ-REEDS), Andrea Cardoso (ICTA-UAB), Paul Matiku and Serah Munguti, (Nature Kenya), Martin O’Connor (UVSQ-REEDS), Godwin Ojo (ERA/FotEN), Begum Özkaynak (Boğaziçi University), Todor Slavov and Desislava Stoyanova (Za Zemiata), Lidija Živčič (Focus)