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All around the world, Millennials and Gen Zers are starting to bring lawsuits against their governments challenging the “legality” of years of climate inaction using similar theories as being alleged in the U.S. “kids” climate case pending in the U.S. That case is currently under review by an appeals court in Oregon, which heard arguments two weeks ago on whether it can go forward — the judges were reported to be sympathetic but skeptical because of the novelty of the young plaintiffs’ arguments. A decision in the U.S. case is expected by the end of the summer.
Why This Matters: Young people are the force behind the most impactful social movements, and this one is no exception. But they are not stopping at marching and school strikes, these young people are availing themselves of all the ways of forcing government change, including litigation. These legal actions are coordinated by the organization Our Children’s Trust, which is helping to streamline the cases and ensure the best science and advocacy are brought to bear in each country. They are starting to have successes in several countries, which is good news for the global climate crisis, and according to legal experts, could even have a positive impact on U.S. litigation.
The Netherlands: Last October, a Dutch Court of Appeals ruled that the government must do more to combat climate change — the decision, in favor of the Dutch NGO Urgenda, recognized the “grave danger” of climate change and called for the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 25% lower than 1990 levels, by 2020.
A 5-month investigation from E&E News revealed that scientists at General Motors and Ford Motor Co. knew as early as the 1960s that car emissions caused climate change. As E&E reported, Researchers at both automakers found strong evidence in the 1960s and ’70s that human activity was warming the Earth. A primary culprit was the […]
How do you elect political candidates who will make tackling climate change a priority? That’s the question Caroline Spears and her colleagues sought to answer when they launched the Climate Cabinet Action Fund in 2018, offering tailored climate data, policy ideas, and messaging suggestions to candidates and lawmakers.
Why This Matters: State legislatures play a critical role in crafting and passing policy — to lead on climate and energy policy, paving the way for ambitious national climate action.
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