Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Michelle Sanborn
Community Organizer 

Press Release

Corporation Demands $40,281.50 From Town For Passing Climate Ordinance

The judge has suggested residents could crowdfund to cover costs.

As climate change brings suffering across the globe, New Hampshire Judge Martin Honigberg has sided with a local corporate actor seeking financial retribution against the Town of Nottingham for the popular adoption of an ordinance recognizing a right of townspeople to a “climate system capable of sustaining human societies.” On September 1, 2021 the lawyer representing Plaintiffs Brent Tweed and his corporate shield, G&F Goods, LLC, submitted a $40,281.50 bill to the court for attorney fees.

The Freedom from Chemical Trespass Ordinance was popularly adopted by residents at their 2019 town hall meeting in response to threats to freshwater systems and climate disruption. It secured rights of ecosystems “to naturally exist, flourish, regenerate, evolve, and be restored” and also banned corporate activities that infringe those rights.

G&F Goods, LLC filed a lawsuit against the unenforced Ordinance, arguing it unconstitutionally discriminates against polluting corporations. The Town agreed with all substantive propositions in the complaint, and the court overturned the popular Ordinance on the basis of the lawsuit being unopposed. (Residents behind the measure were denied intervention into the case but filed an amicus curiae.) A June 4, 2021 court ruling allowed the corporation to bill the Town for attorney fees. The Plaintiffs’ lawyer is now asking the Town to pay for time the Plaintiffs spent responding to the amicus curiae, despite the legal impossibility of the court ruling on the basis of arguments brought solely by a non-party.

“Punishing Town voters and taxpayers for taking a stand to combat climate change on the local level is not what we need right now. The courts and the corporation should be ashamed of themselves,” says CELDF Community Organizer Michelle Sanborn.

Court documents are available upon request.

For further context, read the CELDF report: “Corporations Are Suing Cities Across the USA.”


The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is helping build a decolonial movement for Community Rights and the Rights of Nature to advance democratic, economic, social, and environmental rights–building upward from the grassroots to the state, federal, and international levels.

'Enough is Enough': Hundreds of Thousands March Across the UK

'As wages fall while profits soar, our message is clear... We are here to win.'

Common Dreams staff ·

California Gov. Newsom Proposes Windfall Profits Tax on Big Oil

Calls for windfall profits taxes have increased globally in recent weeks

Common Dreams staff ·

'Incredible': Omar and Khanna Staffers Join Levin's Office in Unionizing

"It is long past time the United States Congress became a unionized workplace, and that includes my own staff," said Rep. Ilhan Omar. "I am proud of all the people on my team who have played a leading role in the staff unionization effort. Solidarity forever."

Jessica Corbett ·

Destructive Hurricanes Fuel Calls for Biden to Declare Climate Emergency

"Mother Nature is not waiting for the president or Congress to declare a climate emergency. She's showing us in real-time here in the United States—with wildfires, floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, and drought."

Jessica Corbett ·

Spain Approves 'Solidarity' Tax to Make Nation's Top 0.1% Pay a Fairer Share

The country's finance minister said that looming changes are bound to make the tax code "more progressive, efficient, fair, and also enough to guarantee social justice and economic efficiency."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo