MONTANA JUDGE HANDS YOUNG PLAINTIFFS SIGNIFICANT VICTORY IN LANDMARK CLIMATE TRIAL

A Montana judge handed a significant victory on Monday to more than a dozen young plaintiffs in the nation’s first constitutional climate trial, as extreme weather becomes more deadly and scientists warn the climate crisis is eroding our environment and natural resources.

In a case that could have legal reverberations for other climate litigation, District Court Judge Kathy Seeley ruled that Montana’s continued development of fossil fuels violates a clause in its state constitution that guarantees its citizens the right to a “clean and healthful environment.” Montana is one of several states that have explicit environmental guarantees written into their state constitutions.

While Seeley’s ruling won’t prevent mining or burning fossil fuels in the state, it will reverse a recently passed state law that prohibits state agencies from considering planet-warming pollution when permitting fossil fuel projects.

It is also a landmark win for young climate advocates who are turning more to the courts for judgments on the causes and impacts of the climate crisis.

“Plaintiffs have a fundamental constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment, which includes climate as part of the environmental life support system,” Seeley wrote in her order.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs called the court’s decision a “sweeping win” in a statement.
“Today, for the first time in US history, a court ruled on the merits of a case that the government violated the constitutional rights of children through laws and actions that promote fossil fuels, ignore climate change, and disproportionately imperil young people,” said Julia Olson, chief legal counsel and executive director of Our Children’s Trust.

“This is a huge win for Montana, for youth, for democracy, and for our climate. More rulings like this will certainly come.”

Experts noted that while the state of Montana didn’t try to dispute the science of climate change during the trial, they argued the state’s greenhouse gas emissions were a drop in the bucket compared to global emissions.

CNN

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat
1
Scan the code
Hello
Thank you for contacting Platinum Media Zambia. Please send us your name, where you are from and how we may help you. Our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible.