Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Is the US government violating the constitution by failing to take action on climate change? It's about to be tested in court

One of the inequities in the way that climate change is being addressed (or not) is that the people who are making the choices are, by-&-large, older. Youth, on the other hand, has a bigger stake in a future impacted by climate change.

Tia Hatton
Credit: Green & Grey

Someone who appears to be acting on this inequity is Tia Hatton, who has been described as, “a global citizen of America who's suing Trump over climate change.” More precisely, she's one of 21 people aged 9-20, who are suing the federal government for violating the constitutional rights of future generations by failing to regulate the environment. Not without success – in 2015, they filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration,1 claiming that the United States government had failed to take sufficient action on climate change, & that this failure was unconstitutional. In November 2016, US District Judge Ann Aiken wrote in a judgement, “Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free & ordered society.”2

Big Think – “Trump May Face Lawsuit from America's Children over Climate Change”

Global Citizen – “Meet Tia Hatton, a Global Citizen of America Who's Suing Trump Over Climate Change”

Pacific Standard – “Can a Surprise Lawsuit in Oregon Save American Climate Policy?”

1 Pacific Standard: “Can a Surprise Lawsuit in Oregon Save American Climate Policy?”, https://psmag.com/can-a-surprise-lawsuit-in-oregon-save-american-climate-policy-2339f386b13f#.qu4ugtio8

2 Global Citizen: “Meet Tia Hatton, a Global Citizen of America Who's Suing Trump Over Climate Change”, https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/global-citizen-of-america-tia-hatton/
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