A group of 21 children and teenagers, ages 9 to 20, have won a landmark case that gives them the right to sue the US federal government for their right to a stable climate.
“I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society,” says US District Court Judge Ann Aiken in a statement, the judge ruling on the case. “A stable climate system is quite literally the foundation of society.”
The judge's ruling prevents the federal government from throwing out the kids' argument and allows them to sue the government directly.
The case includes a legal framework that would effect the entire country, including science-backed plans to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions
“My generation is rewriting history,” Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a 16-year-old plaintiff, declared. “We’re doing what so many people told us we were incapable of doing: holding our leaders accountable for their disastrous and dangerous actions.”
James Hansen, a world-renowned climatologist at Columbia University, was also involved and supported the plaintiffs. In a statement, he described the ruling as “a critical step toward a solution of the climate problem, and none too soon as climate change is accelerating.”
The case is called Juliana v. United States and is truly indicative of the power and intelligence of the youth of this country.
The case is likely on its way to the US Supreme Court.