Young environmental activists win first case in ``climate change trial'', court says ``a healthy environment is a constitutional right''

16 people between the ages of 5 and 22 were the plaintiffs, and in August 2023, the court sued the state government for violating the rights of young people with a future in a fossil fuel mining business in Montana, USA. On the 14th, a judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiff.

Montana — Our Children's Trust

Judge rules in favor of youths in landmark Montana climate trial - The Washington Post

Montana climate trial: Judge sides with young activists in first-of-its-kind trial | AP News

In this trial, 16 young people, including Ricky Held, who was 20 years old at the time of 2020, said, ``Despite the fact that the Montana Constitution requires the state to protect and improve the environment, the state has committed coal and natural gas. It is a violation of a constitutional right to exacerbate climate change by allowing a business that produces

The background is that Montana is one of the leading production areas with the largest coal reserves in the United States, and is also a thriving producer of oil and natural gas. During the deliberations, it was also questioned whether fossil fuel development projects licensed by the Montana government violated the 'right to a clean and healthy environment' enshrined in the Montana Constitution, as amended in 1972. became one of the points of contention.

In response to the young people's complaint, the state government argued that the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from Montana is very small compared to the entire planet and has little impact on climate change, but the court said, `` It dismissed the state's claims as a 'substantial cause of climate change.'

In its ruling, Montana District Court Judge Kathy Seeley said, 'Every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions makes plaintiffs worse, and risks irreversible damage from irreversible climate change.' There is,' he said, ruling that the state's policy of not requiring a survey of greenhouse gas emissions when licensing fossil fuel mining projects is unconstitutional.

Montana state officials have announced that they will seek to overturn the ruling on appeal. In addition, since it is up to the state assembly to decide how to specifically consider the environment, even if the judgment becomes final, it will not have a direct impact immediately.

On the other hand, this is the first time that an American court has ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a trial over constitutional benefits related to climate change, and the voices of young people calling for an immediate response to climate change. The judicial decision is of great significance.

``This is a monumental ruling that protects the state of Montana, its youth, and democracy,'' said Julia Olson, an attorney with the nonprofit public interest law firm Our Children's Trust, who represented the plaintiffs. , and a big win for the climate.'

Plaintiff Held also said, ``We know that climate change is a global problem, but Montana must take responsibility for being part of it.''

Meanwhile, Emily Flower, a spokesperson for Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, accused Judge Seeley of calling the ruling 'unreasonable' and allowing the plaintiffs to do 'tax-funded publicity.' ``Montana people have no reason to be blamed for climate change. Ta.

According to Our Children's Trust, similar trials are underway in Utah, Virginia, Hawaii, etc., and lawsuits against the country are ongoing.

in Science, Posted by log1l_ks