U.S. children suing gov over climate change, Aus students planning nationwide school strike

Environmental law professors Blumm and Wood say that an attempt by a group of young Americans to sue their government positions the climate crisis in the realm of fundamental civil rights.

angry protestors

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President Trump has both feet on the . One way to force President Donald Trump to put the brakes on his dangerous “” policy is a lawsuit filed on behalf of 21 young people. Using a , the administration’s lawyers are scrambling to keep this case, known as Juliana v. United States, from going to trial.

Spearheaded by , a nonprofit, this lawsuit challenges U.S. energy policies on the basis that those policies are destabilising the climate and violating established constitutional rights to protect citizens from a global threat. The case originally took aim at the Obama administration when lawyers . It now targets the Trump administration.

, who now range in age from 11 to 22 years old, are seeking to require the federal defendants to prepare and implement an enforceable to phase out the excessive greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

In a surprise decision last Friday, the Supreme Court cleared the way for Juliana v. United. States, but it’s still not yet clear if the case will go to trial. If the Juliana case succeeds, there will be a court-supervised federal plan to shrink the nation’s carbon footprint at a rate necessary to stave off .

Global warming sparks global youth action

Authorities in , the , and  have been forced to act on climate change after cases based on similar legal arguments to what has happened in the U.S.

A Dutch appeals court, for example, has ordered the Dutch government to cut emissions by .

In Australia, students in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Hobart, the Whitsundays, Lismore, the Gold Coast, Albury-Wodonga and the Sunshine Coast are planning to walk out of classes this month in protest of what they say is a failure by politicians to recognise climate change as an emergency.

"I'm sick and tired of our politicians not taking any action against climate change," says Jean Hinchliffe 14-year-old student protester.

This article draws on material originally published on  and  in The Conversation.

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2 min read
Published 8 November 2018 at 7:11pm
By Michael C. Blumm, Mary Wood
Source: The Conversation