Securing the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate
for all present and future generations

2015 Federal Lawsuit

21 young people from across the United States have filed a landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit against the federal government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. Also acting as a Plaintiff is world-renowned climate scientist Dr. James E. Hansen, serving as guardian for future generations and his granddaughter. The Complaint asserts that, in causing climate change, the federal government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.

The Complaint alleges the Federal Government is violating the youth’s constitutional rights by promoting the development and use of fossil fuels. These young Plaintiffs are challenging the federal government’s national fossil fuel programs, as well as the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal in Coos Bay, OR. Plaintiffs seek to hold President Obama and various federal agencies responsible for continued fossil fuel exploitation. The Federal Government has known for decades that fossil fuels are destroying the climate system. No less important than in the Civil Rights cases, Plaintiffs seek a court order requiring the President to immediately implement a national plan to decrease atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (“CO2”) to a safe level: 350 ppm by the year 2100.

Meet the Youth Plaintiffs!
Click here for a summary of the complaint.


Dr. James Hansen, guardian for Future Generations, with his granddaughter and Youth Plaintiff, Sophie.

Legal Updates:

August 12, 2015, International Youth Day

America’s Youth File Landmark Climate Lawsuit Against U.S. Government and President

Read the press release.
Read Youth Plaintiffs' complaint.
Read Exhibit A to the complaint: an expert declaration from world-renowned climate scientist Dr. James Hansen.

Read Dr. James Hansen's and other leading scientists' articles that were attached to Dr. Hansen's expert declaration: