Just Sustainabilities and Sustainable Development Goals in the time of Covid-19


Gitanjali Nain Gill
Professor of Environmental Law,
Northumbria Law School,
Northumbria University, UK


This article inter-relates Julian Agyeman’s Just Sustainabilities paradigm with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An “embedded lens’ approach is adopted highlighting Agyeman’s essential elements (equity, meeting the needs of present and future generation, justice in terms of recognition, and living within ecosystem limits) alongside those of the UN SDGs (2015 resolution and the targets).  Aspects of environmental sustainability within the ‘embedded lens’ are identified. This formulation is achieved by identifying key words of equivalent meaning. The commonality of these essential elements that bind Just Sustainabilities and SDGs are recognised as key integrants. Addressing the wider formulations and interlinkages of these integrants help explore the ‘equity and justice’ aspects in a holistic manner. This promotes the movement from theory to action. Paradoxically, Covid-19 is changing society, not by choice but by necessity, yet simultaneously it creates space to broadcast a fresh message that allows ‘equity and justice’ move centre-stage. The combination of Just Sustainabilities and SDGs constitute an opportunity framework built on ‘equity and justice’.  The relationship between Covid-19 and the ‘embedded lens’ with illustrative focus on environmental goals helps re-orientate and clarify thinking during and subsequently in post Covid-19 ‘new normal’ times.


Covid-19, environmental sustainability, ‘equity and justice’,  just sustainabilities, sustainable development goals.


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