The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Kids Get Their Day in Court: 21 Youth Sue U.S. Government in Landmark Climate Lawsuit
U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken scheduled Wednesday an oral argument for the youths' landmark climate lawsuit for Sept. 13 at 10 a.m. PST in Eugene, Oregon.
The 21 young plaintiffs received a favorable decision in their case brought against the federal government and fossil fuel industry from U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin in April. Now, they are looking forward to their next opportunity to appear in court to fight for climate justice.
“I am excited that Judge Aiken is interested in hearing our oral argument this September," plaintiff Kiran Oommen, a 19-year-old from Eugene, said. “The U.S. government's continued support of the fossil fuel industry, despite the obvious high risks, is hurting people all the time and it's getting worse. With incidents like the oil train derailment and proceeding disaster in Mosier, Oregon this month, we can see the direct negative consequences of the government's blatant disregard for the health and safety of the people. The longer this case lasts, the greater the evidence will be condemning their actions."
The plaintiffs are suing the federal government for violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property and their right to essential public trust resources, by permitting, encouraging and otherwise enabling continued exploitation, production and combustion of fossil fuels. The case is one of multiple related legal actions brought by youth in several states and countries, all supported by Our Children's Trust, seeking science-based action by governments to stabilize the climate system. Recently, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the King County Superior Court in Seattle, Washington, also ruled in favor of youth in related actions.
“We look forward to the opportunity to argue this case before Judge Aiken," Julia Olson, counsel for the plaintiffs and executive director of Our Children's Trust, said. “The more these brave young climate advocates appear in court, with the tremendous public support we anticipate for this September 13 hearing, the better. This is another chance to tell the egregious story of this case: that for more than 50 years our government has exploited fossil fuels, hand in hand with industry, knowing it would destroy our climate system and the healthy futures for these young people. We are eager to show the court how these youth's fundamental constitutional rights are being infringed."
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Pedro Biondi
Extinct in its habitat for at least three decades, the Alagoas curassow (Pauxi mitu) is now back in the jungle and facing a test of survival, thanks to the joint efforts of more than a dozen institutions to pull this pheasant-like bird back from the brink.
By Julia Conley
Sen. Elizabeth Warren expanded her vision for combating the climate crisis on Tuesday with the release of her Blue New Deal — a new component of the Green New Deal focusing on protecting and restoring the world's oceans after decades of pollution and industry-caused warming.
A judge in New York's Supreme Court sided with Exxon in a case that accused the fossil fuel giant of lying to investors about the true cost of the climate crisis. The judge did not absolve Exxon from its contribution to the climate crisis, but insisted that New York State failed to prove that the company intentionally defrauded investors, as NPR reported.
By Sharon Elber
You may have heard that giving a pet for Christmas is just a bad idea. Although many people believe this myth, according to the ASPCA, 86 percent of adopted pets given as gifts stay in their new homes. These success rates are actually slightly higher than average adoption/rehoming rates. So, if done well, giving an adopted pet as a Christmas gift can work out.