ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : LAW: CASES : CHILDREN: Climate Change Litigation - The Children Win In Court

David P. Dillard
 

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ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

LAW: CASES :

CHILDREN:

Climate Change Litigation - The Children Win In Court

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Climate Change Litigation - The Children Win In Court

James Conca

Forbes

MAY 1, 2016 @ 06:00 AM

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/05/01/ climate-change-litigation-the-children-win-in-court/#1753a3c75dfe

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/h5psfjg

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Against all odds, the 21 children, ages 8 to 19, who are suing the government to protect the environment against the harm of global warming in their future, have won in court.

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Again.

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In a surprise ruling on Friday from the bench in the ongoing climate case brought by these youths against the State of Washingtons Department of Ecology, King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill ordered the Department of Ecology to promulgate a carbon emissions reduction rule by the end of 2016 and make recommendations to the state legislature on science-based greenhouse gas reductions in the 2017 legislative session. Judge Hill also ordered the Department of Ecology to consult with the young plaintiffs in advance of that recommendation.

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The youths were forced back to court after the Department of Ecology unexpectedly withdrew the very rulemaking efforts to reduce carbon emissions that the agency told the judge it had underway in its previous court appearance, an interesting sleight-of-hand from a state agency.

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The lawsuit brought by the youths alleges that the Federal Government is violating the Plaintiffs constitutional and public trust rights by promoting the use of fossil FOSL -0.09% fuels. The Complaint explains that, for over fifty years, the United States Government and the Fossil Fuel Industry have known that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels causes global warming and dangerous climate change, and that continuing to burn fossil fuels destabilizes the climate system.

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This case is one of several similar cases in federal district court in Oregon, and in the state courts of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Massachusetts, all supported by Our Childrens Trust, seeking the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate.

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Championed by Professor Mary Christina Wood in the Law School at the University of Oregon under the idea of Atmospheric Trust Litigation, this and several similar lawsuits claim that a government elected by the people and for the people has a duty to protect the natural systems required for the peoples survival.

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According to Wood, if both the executive and legislative branches fail in that duty, then the judicial branch must intervene.

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Most importantly, the courts so far have unequivocally rejected all arguments raised by the Federal Government and the Fossil Fuel Industry in their Motions to Dismiss that seek to deny the youth their fundamental rights under the constitution and public trust doctrine, and claimed that the government has no duty to protect essential natural resources, such as air and oceans.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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