Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Juliana v US is a lawsuit brought by 21 youth claiming violations by the US government of their right to a clean environment. Specifically, the lawsuit claimed violations of the right to a safe climate. The 9th circuit court of appeals dismissed the suit but not without recognizing the severity of the climate crisis. The court acknowledged that young people are the most likely to suffer because of rising temperatures. The opinion was decided 2-1 with the majority stating that the legislature must act to implement environmental protections.
Our Children's Trust supported the Plaintiffs in their lawsuit. In their statement, they noted that the decision was two to one with the dissent noting that "Judge Staton would hold that the youth plaintiffs have the standing to challenge the government’s conduct, have articulated claims under the Constitution, and have presented sufficient evidence to press those claims at trial. "
Counsel for the youth will ask the Court for a review.
The decision fails to acknowledge the human right to a healthy climate and the state's role in creating environmental damage and taking responsibility for the damage.