For Immediate Release

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Youth Petition Obama to Come to Table in #Youthvgov Lawsuit Before Trump Takes Over

NEW YORK, NY - Victoria Barrett, 17, and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, 16, sued the United States, President Obama, and several federal agencies, for the government’s actions that have caused carbon pollution, climate destabilization, and violations of their constitutional rights.

On November 10, 2016, U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken completely rejected the government and fossil fuel industry’s arguments to throw their case out. Now, Xiuhtezcatl, Victoria, their 19 youth co-plaintiffs, along with Dr. James Hansen, and the non-profit Earth Guardians, are headed to a trial that may be a turning point in United States history. 

But until January 20, 2017, President Obama has the power to lock in real protection for the climate and the youth’s future. Youth plaintiffs urge him to reject fossil fuel interests and come to the settlement table in the #youthvgov lawsuit. Victoria and Xiuhtezcatl want President Obama to end this case - meet with them, implement a climate recovery plan, and define his legacy.

Victoria Barrett, youth plaintiff, Earth Guardian RYSE member and Action Fellow with Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) said:

“In this fight for a just world we are not the first of our kind, but we are the ones who will have the legacies of those who fought before us serving as a platform. This climate movement, for love, and fairness, and stability, and the future will not and cannot stop for anyone. Youth stand together, and even as the seas are rising…so are we.”

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, youth plaintiff, Earth Guardians youth director, said:

“We are defining the future we will pass on to generations to come. This is a pivotal moment in our nation’s history. We need President Obama to stand with us.”

Julia Olson, lead counsel for the youth’s case, and executive director of Our Children’s Trust said:


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“If President Obama and the other key defendants come to the settlement table, a meaningful settlement could be crafted to begin to address the constitutional violations of my clients’ fundamental rights in this case. It may not resolve the whole case, but it could provide some very important interim protections for these youth plaintiffs as we head to trial on the merits.”

Petition link:

Video only:


Earth Guardians:


Our Children’s Trust:

The youth’s federal case is one of many related legal actions brought by youth in several states and countries, all supported by Our Children’s Trust, seeking science-based action by governments to stabilize the climate system.


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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.

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