Environmental Justice considers that environmental problems impact most heavily on the most vulnerable members of society: the very young, the old and the poor.
Environmental justice considers the "fair treatment for people of all races, cultures, and incomes, regarding the development of environmental laws, regulations, and policies." (US EPA). Recent research shows that the processes needed to tackle negative environmental impacts are neither fully developed nor accessible on an equal basis to different social groups, (Economic & Social Research Council).
In the context of societal problems environmental justice is now being considered in Europe under the auspices of social exclusion/inclusion, which considers the integration and delivery of environmental and social objectives in the context of benefits for local social cohesion.