Environmental justice and the capability approach

Jérôme Ballet, Damien Bazin and Jérôme Pelenc

Table of Contents


We show that the capability approach offers significant insight into the full meaning of environmental justice from the perspective of comparative justice. The capability approach allows us to take into account the three issues raised by environmental justice: the distribution of benefits and problems related to the environment, issues of people’s participation in the development of environmental regulations, and the recognition of collective identities. However, this requires, on one hand, that we give priority to freedom of process over freedom of opportunities, and on the other hand, that the concept of collective capability be introduced.

JEL classification: O10, Q56, Z1.


  • capabilities
  • comparative justice
  • environmental justice
  • transcendental justice