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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.
Yesterday at the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to achieve “carbon neutrality before 2060” with the aim of hitting peak emissions before 2030. China had choice words for the Trump administration and its complete lack of international leadership on climate change action. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang […]
The world’s richest one percent cause more than double the CO2 of the poorest 50% according to a new study from Oxfam. From 1990 to 2015, CO2 emissions rose by 60%; experts saw the wealthiest one percent’s emissions rise three times more than those of the poorest half during that period.
Why this matters: While the wealthiest indulge in luxuries that contribute more to climate change, a federal report found that the poor will be among the earliest victims of climate crises and will be impacted the most.
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