Oregon Judge Rules that Climate Change Inaction Violates Rights of Today’s Youth

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A national group called Our Children’s Trust has made serious progress in their fight against climate change in April, when a judge in Eugene, Oregon turned down government motions for dismissals and recommended that the federal government must take further, immediate actions to combat greenhouse gas emissions and associated climate changes which threaten future generations.

The findings and recommendations of Our Children’s Trust are well-­rounded and detailed, and to truly grasp the scale and importance of this lawsuit they must be read at the source. It has been called “the most important lawsuit on the planet right now” by environmental writers and activists Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein and “one of the most significant in our nation’s history” by Phillip Gregory, the attorney representing the group. In this document, the group accounts not only for carbon emissions, but the role of consumption in role of the United States in contributing to climate change. Climate change is of course a very complicated issue ­ perhaps the grandest that we face as a nation and a planet today. Citing “carbon pollution… climate destabilization, and ocean acidification” and warming, among other effects, they assert that their “fundamental constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property” are in danger without more robust government actions and call for an “phasing out” of fossil fuels. They name legislation like Section 201 of the Energy Policy Act as unconstitutional. The lawsuit also demands an inventory of greenhouse gases based on United States consumption. In response, the defendants representing global fossil fuel interests called it “a direct, substantial threat to our businesses”. This is merely an early phase in the saga of this action, and much more will be said and done as it moves forward.

In addition to the order linked above, Our Children’s Trust has issued a press statement. For information on what the group is doing in your state, international news on the subject, and more, visit their website.

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