Youth Climate Change Lawsuit Thrown Out by Federal Government

Photo by Bill Oxford

By Orik Ehren, age 13

Juliana v. United States, a 2015 high-profile lawsuit which saw a group of 21 young plaintiffs accuse the United States of pursuing actions that exacerbate global warming, was dismissed on January 17, 2020. 

The dismissal stated that the lawsuit pushed the responsibility of the courts to an extent not meant to be reached, and that the issue should be brought to the legislative and executive branches of government instead.

However, Paul Sabin, professor of environmental history at Yale, said in a Time interview that the dismissal does not necessarily determine the future of climate litigation. “The courts are still coming around to the necessary role that they may have to play. A dismissal now does not mean a dismissal forever.”

Plaintiff: A person who brings a case against another in a court of law.
Litigation: The process of taking legal action.

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