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Climate Kids Take On US Government Over Global Warming

March 11, 2016
Environmental Protection

A group of 21 children aged between 9 and 19 are seeking to hold the US government responsible for what they term “continued fossil fuel exploitation.” The group has the backing of charity Our Childrens Trust as well as former NASA climate scientist James Hansen.

Judge Thomas Coffin of the US district court in Eugene, Oregon, must decide if there is a case to answer and if the government have been responsible for violating the children’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, property and equal protection under the law as well as to benefit from the public trust, which they argue includes the atmosphere. If they are successful, the group will force the Obama administration to produce an inventory of carbon dioxide emissions and create an enforceable national remedial plan to phase out fossil fuel emissions.

“The purpose of this case is to obtain an order from a federal court requiring the United States government, including the President and specific federal agencies, to develop a national plan to protect our atmosphere and stable climate system,” Julia Olson, executive director at Our Children’s Trust and the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said. “This lawsuit asks whether our government has a constitutional responsibility to leave a viable climate system for future generations.”

The case is part of a larger group of actions being taken by Our Children’s Trust challenging federal and state governments across America.