Environmental Justice in Italy
Environmental Justice in Italy
By Francesca Rosignoli, 2019-01-10
The state-of-the-art related to the existing literature on Environmental Justice (EJ) in Italy and the EJ discourse in Italy can be found in the article Environmental Justice in Italy.
The critical examination of the literature shows that the Italian academic debate on the topic of environmental injustices is still rare, being, instead, largely favoured the term environmental conflicts. Indeed, both academics and activists largely frame environmental issues by the term environmental conflicts rather than environmental injustices.

By this article, Roberto Esposito's interpretation over the immanentization of antagonism, conceived as an expression of the specificity of Italian thought, is used to theoretically frame and interpret such emphasis on the conflict as a key feature of participative democracy related to environmental issues. A main finding of the article is, therefore, the centrality of conflict as the major strength of environmental justice discourse in Italy.
Despite publications on the topic appear rather isolated and EJ is far from being taken up as a new paradigm guiding local or national environmental policies, a limited number of articles in the frame of EJ (Certomà, 2007; Pellizzoni, 2014; Pellizzoni, 2011; Germani, 2011; Germani et al., 2014; Armiero & D'Alisa, 2012; Armiero, 2014), has been published over the years.
The few attempts of empirical research conducted reveal that, rather than along racial or ethnic terms, environmental justice issues in Italy are more likely to manifest in terms of social categories and gender composition (Germani, 2011).A significant impulse to move forward the debate on EJ has been given from 2015 on: In this regard, 2015 may be well considered a turning point, being marked by three events of great importance: the enactment of Law No. 68/2015, introducing the first provisions dealing with crimes against environment in the Italian Criminal Code; the publication of Laudato si Encyclical of Pope Francis; and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at COP 21.
Unfortunately, the few words have so far been followed by far too few actions.
Image: © Rosignoli