Press Release: America's Youth File Landmark Climate Lawsuit Against U.S. Government and President Obama
Eugene, OR – Today, on International Youth Day, 21 young people from across the United States 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-renown climate scientist Dr. James E. Hansen, serving as guardian for future generations and for his granddaughter, and Earth Guardians, representing young citizen beneficiaries of the public trust. The Complaint asserts that, in causing climate change, the federal government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, and has 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.