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Published 3 November 2018
Opinion

Youth ages 8 to 21 take on the U.S. government on climate change lawsuit, with favorable decision from Supreme Court

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court gave permission for the continuation of the Juliana vs. the United States lawsuit that was filed by young American citizens, who expressed concern for the government’s failure to properly address the impacts of climate change.

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“The youth of our nation won an important decision today from the Supreme Court that shows even the most powerful government in the world must follow the rules and process of litigation in our democracy,” according to the plaintiffs of the suit.

The highest court decided to allow the case to continue in a lower Oregon court. The unprecedented trial will examine the grievances of 21 young people — aged from eight to 19 — who filed a lawsuit against the U.S.  government, in 2015, for violating their constitutional rights.

The plaintiffs believe the government’s lack of action to curtail carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels — which they accuse the government of being aware of — is harming the environment. 

The group stated that the government is threatening their right to life, liberty and property, as well as “a stable system capable of sustaining human lives,” adding that remedial measures are necessary to help phase out fossil fuels.

The high court judge agreed that the complaint was valid. “Federal courts too often have been cautious and overly deferential in the arena of environmental law, and the world has suffered for it,” stated judge Ann Aiken, of the Oregon District Court.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump recently had an about-face on the issue of climate change. Prior to October, the president rejected climate changed, saying the “climate will change back again.”

 

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