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As Climate Situation Worsens, Young Plaintiffs Wait For Trial

Alec Cowan

Attorneys for a group of young people suing the government over climate change are urging the courts to let their case be heard.

Juliana Versus the United States was put on hold by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last month after the federal government requested a halt to the case that was set to go to trial on October 29th. Attorney Julia Olson of Eugene represents 21 people aged 11 to 22. She says the delay has been frustrating for the plaintiffs and their supporters, especially as news about climate change becomes more and more dire.
Olson: It’s a very heavy emotional weight for everybody to carry knowing what’s at stake. Knowing that emissions are rising. They rose 2.5 percent in the United States this year. Knowing what the trump Administration is doing in the climate talks right now by promoting coal.
The lawsuit claims the government violates the constitutional rights of the youth by actively promoting a fossil fuel based energy system that has perpetuated climate change. 

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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