For Immediate Release
Judge to Hear Oral Arguments for Federal Constitutional Climate Case
EUGENE, Ore. - The hearing will be before Judge Coffin in federal district court in Oregon on Wednesday, March 9, as the youth and their attorneys argue against the effort by the U.S. government and fossil fuel industry to dismiss their constitutional case.
On this momentous day, the claims of the youth Plaintiffs, as well as Dr. James Hansen representing the interests of future generations, will be challenged. The issues are crucial: When it comes to our climate, do we have fundamental constitutional rights? Does our federal government have public trust responsibilities? As with the Civil Rights Cases, this March 9 hearing presents the best opportunity for the federal judiciary to preserve our climate-oriented constitutional rights and to safeguard youth and future generations from the severe harms caused by the government’s role in effecting climate change.
Based on the best available science, there is no question youth and our Posterity will shoulder the severe consequences of continued increases in carbon dioxide concentrations in our atmosphere. The federal government has no effective plan to protect our future, such as no governing scientific standard to determine which projects will be permitted, how much pollution will be allowed, or why fossil fuel development will continue to be tolerated. Rather, our government continues its fossil fuel-dominated strategy to power our nation, even when that strategy inflicts irreversible damage and feasible, economical alternatives exist.
These brave youth simply ask the court to let the factual record speak for itself. They want a court order that is reasonable and realistic, while protecting their fundamental rights. Our young Plaintiffs hope the court requires the federal government to promptly develop and implement a national climate recovery plan, rooted in science, to preserve our atmosphere, to stabilize our climate system for present and future generations, and to cease new fossil fuel projects (such as those geared to infrastructure and extraction) that will inflict irreversible damage. These youth ask their fundamental constitutional rights and their futures not be subordinated to corporate dollars. They ask that our government do what is legally and morally right and scientifically sound.
Please tell your friends about this historic day in court, a day that will impact the futures of all of our children and grandchildren.
Hearing: Wednesday, March 9th at 10:00 am. Space is limited inside the courtroom; please arrive very early to secure a seat. There will be overflow courtrooms to which the arguments will be live-streamed, but we expect seats to fill early.
Wayne L Morse Federal Courthouse, 405 East Eighth Ave., Eugene, OR 97401
Our Children's Trust is a nonprofit organization advocating for urgent emissions reductions on behalf of youth and future generations, who have the most to lose if emissions are not reduced. OCT is spearheading the international human rights and environmental TRUST Campaign to compel governments to safeguard the atmosphere as a "public trust" resource. We use law, film, and media to elevate their compelling voices. Our ultimate goal is for governments to adopt and implement enforceable science-based Climate Recovery Plans with annual emissions reductions to return to an atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of 350 ppm.