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This article explains why environmental justice provides much of the foundation for sustainable development, and shows how sustainability can improve our ability to achieve environmental justice. The article first explains a basic but often unrecognized truth about environmental policy: environmental pollution and degradation, sooner or later, harms humans. Both sustainable development and environmental justice respond to this problem, though in somewhat different ways. Sustainable development, however, suggests a broader set of tools to address this problem than are often employed for environmental justice. The article shows how four broad approaches — more and better sustainability options, law for sustainability, visionary and pragmatic governance, and an American movement for sustainability — can enrich and strengthen the quest for environmental justice. These approaches are taken from a 2012 book, Acting as if Tomorrow Matters: Accelerating the Transition to Sustainability, to which the authors of this article contributed.

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19 J. of Sustainability and Envtl. Law 1