Governmental Intervention for Environmental and Trade Justice

Achieving environmental and trade justice is vital in a country's justice system. Two primary ways can accomplish the attainment of the two justices. These include a governmental intervention to ensure environmental and trade justice and the utilization of individuals and non-governmental organizations taking responsibility. The former approach is where the government is responsible for developing and implementing measures that aim to safeguard rights and enforce laws that promote environment and trade justices. On the other hand, the second approach requires the people and non-government organizations to be actively involved in ensuring the attainment of the environmental and trade fairness in a country. As a result, this paper evaluates the necessity of governmental interventions for achieving environmental and trade justice.

Environmental justice is a broad category of justice that comprises types of healthy food and environment pollutions (air, water, and noise), among others. Government agencies are necessary to facilitate and ensure environmental justice. According to Paloniemi et al. (2015), government agencies are well equipped to provide environmental justice. Being in a position to develop and implement rules and regulations that directly protect the environment, it is evident that the government is vital in achieving any goals.


The concept of noise pollution is an excellent example of environmental justice. The noise pollution shows the complexity that exists in efforts to achieve justice in a society that has diverse people. An approach that has been identified as a solution to noise pollution is zoning. Government interventions are necessary and critical in the implementation of zoning hence protect people from noise. Nikorowicz-Zatorska (2018) depicts that the successful implementation of zoning can only be achieved through government intervention through regulations. For instance, the government can place a requirement of zoning during the establishment of an airport or an industry with noise pollution potential.

Successful governance requires government involvement. Keping (2018) insights that any government needs power and authority. In this context, the government has the power and authority that is necessary to attain strategies identified to achieve environmental justice. For example, in the United Kingdom, local governments have given standards to deal with unwanted sound and noisy neighbours. However, this intervention is successful if implemented in collaboration with individuals and the community.

While government intervention is necessary for the realisation of environmental justice, it is not useful in all ways. For instance, it is difficult for the authorities to intervene when dealing with a noisy neighbour in the community. Instead, the approach of individualisation is more useful here. Notably, this approach works only when citizens can internally address the problem. Otherwise, the government may be required to intervene (Paloniemi et al., 2015).

Another plausible limitation of government intervention in environmental justice is the issue of cultural differences. As Fraser notes, it is challenging to administer justice across borders. Where, in this case, the boundaries represent the cultural and social borders within the population. Due to these differences, a generalized regulation by the authority will not effectively attain the objective. This is because different cultures have varying preferences concerning the environment. For instance, the noise level preferences distinctively differ in varying cultures. In such cases, the individualisation approach is best-suited intervention. Additionally, Rawls’ notion of a veil of ignorance indicates that the method of citizens taking responsibility for environmental justice would bear positive results.

On the other hand, trade justice entails efforts by different stakeholders to adjust the world trade rules and practices to promote fairness. The fair-trade movement is dominant in the push for trade justice. Encouraging consumers to change their behaviour and promoting fair-trade products are some of the approaches that the fair-trade movement utilizes to achieve trade justice. However, the success of the fair-trade movement in any country is critically dependent on government interventions (Marshall, 2016). It can, therefore, be argued that government is critical in trade justice.

Trade justice aims at the achievement of better trading conditions. The state government is the most relevant in the facilitation of a better trading environment in the country. Such situations can be achieved through trade laws, legal requirements for businesses, and tax laws (Du Plessis, Hargovan, & Harris, 2018). The power and authority by state government facilitate implementations and full compliance for the set laws by all the businesses operating within its jurisdiction. This is not the case with the non-governmental organisations hence making the government intervention a necessity.

The government has the authority to control the business and protect the local businesses. One of the primary objectives in trade justice is the protection of the local companies which cannot compete with international competitors. While the fair-trade movement can encourage citizens to buy local products, the government can cushion the businesses from foreign competition. The introduction of tax tariffs and prohibiting imports to the country of particular products effectively protect local trade. Additionally, Grossman (2016) insights that the government is better placed to engage and enter into trade agreements with other countries, which facilitates the attainment of trade justice.

While government interventions are critical in achieving trade justice, they are faced with several limitations. Foremost, the aspect of globalization and push for world free trade has reduced the autonomous government control of the trade activities in the country (Vogel, 2018). Further, from the argument of Rawls’ notion of veil of ignorance, government interventions may end up causing trade injustices to other businesses in other countries. This will be contrary to the aim of trade justice.

Government powers and authority are limited to their area of jurisdiction. Accordingly, government intervention in her country can indirectly result in infringing trade injustice to the businesses in the state. For instance, if the government puts more stringent environmental requirements for a business hence raising its operational costs and other countries fail to do the same, the business product competitiveness will be reduced and could be phased out the market. In such a situation, individuals and non-governmental organizations should take responsibility for ensuring trade justice.

Many of the non-governmental organisations operate globally and has international influence. Therefore, their interventions and push for trade justice can be attained across borders. Notably, trade justice is better achieved through corporate responsibility (Marshall, 2016). Consumers and non-governmental organisations are better placed to influence and ensure there is accountability in businesses towards trade justice.

From the above evaluation, government intervention is necessary for the achievement of environmental and trade justice. Its position of power and authority implies that it is well-positioned to make and implement laws and regulations that facilitate justice in the two categories. In the environmental justice, the government is better positioned to enforce the zoning of noise pollution. In trade justice, the government can ensure and facilitate a conducive business environment while protecting the vulnerable local enterprises. However, government intervention is characterised by some shortcomings which are covered by the individualisation approach. Therefore, the achievement of environmental and trade justice is better realized by the complementary response of the government, individuals, and non-governmental organisations. Each party should play its role and complement each other if environmental and trade justice is to be achieved.


Achievement of environmental and trade justice can be done by either government intervention or responsibility from individuals and non- governmental organisations. While the first approach has various strengths in attaining it is faced with several challenges. Government power and authority are the key benefits of this approach. Through its power, it can enforce different measures aimed at justice. Further, its power influences other stakeholders that are in a position to control environmental and trade justices.

On the other hand, the government is limited due to the difficulty of administering justice across borders. These borders include both the physical and symbolic borders. The complexity that occurs when dealing cross border individuals and issues make the government intervention insufficient in achieving desired results. The complexity implies a necessity for the individualised approach, which the governmental intervention cannot adequately provide. However, individual and non-governmental organisations squarely overcome government shortcomings. Therefore, it is concluded that the function of the two approaches is better placed to achieve environmental and trade justice. It has been found that in search of environmental and trade justice, the two ways complement each other.

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From the submission of TMAs 04 and 05, I have gained new knowledge from the module. Before the undertaking of this module, I had limited knowledge and insights regarding borders and justice. This has changed after the new information learned from the courses. Specifically, I was intrigued by the classification of borders and the various types of immigrants and how they face different natures of injustices. Additionally, the PROMPT approach of undertaking an evaluation was intriguing and appreciated. The following are the key areas that I feel I need support from my tutor. Foremost, understanding the complexity of the symbolic border in the context of trade justice and immigrant justice. Also, the grasping of the concept of Rawls’ notion of a veil of ignorance needs support.


Du Plessis, J. J., Hargovan, A., & Harris, J. (2018). Principles of contemporary corporate governance. Cambridge University Press.

Grossman, G. M. (2016). The purpose of trade agreements. In Handbook of commercial policy (Vol. 1, pp. 379-434). North-Holland.

Keping, Y. (2018). Governance and good governance: A new framework for political analysis. Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 11(1), 1-8.

Marshall, S. (2016). Fair trade, corporate accountability, and beyond: Experiments in globalizing justice. Routledge.

Nikorowicz-Zatorska, K. (2018). Analysis and Use of the Concept of Noise Zoning Plan (NZP) for the Lodz Airport. A Case Study. Przedsiębiorczość i Zarządzanie, 19(11, cz. 3 Logistyka w naukach o zarządzaniu. Część I), 9-24.

Paloniemi, R., Apostolopoulou, E., Cent, J., Bormpoudakis, D., Scott, A., Grodzińska‐Jurczak, M., ... & Pantis, J. D. (2015). Public participation and environmental justice in biodiversity governance in Finland, Greece, Poland and the UK. Environmental Policy and Governance, 25(5), 330-342.

Vogel, S. K. (2018). Freer markets, more rules: Regulatory reform in advanced industrial countries. Cornell University Press.

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