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After Six Years, Teen Climate Suit Could End In Settlement

Rachael McDonald

A landmark lawsuit that pits 21 young people against the federal government over climate change could be settled in court. Parties agreed to enter settlement discussions during a meeting with a Eugene Federal Judge Thursday.



US District Judge Ann Aiken ordered attorneys for plaintiffs and for the Department of Justice to meet for a settlement conference with Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin in the climate suit Juliana v United States.

Aiken said she thinks it’s “a tremendous opportunity” and she said she hopes parties don’t see this just as a “ministerial step”.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Julia Olson said they’re happy to do so. Juliana v United States was filed in 2015. It argues the federal government knowingly supported the fossil fuel industry and took actions to contribute to the climate crisis. The 21 plaintiffs now range in age from 13 to 25 years old. The settlement meeting will take place within the next six weeks.

Copyright 2021 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. 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. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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