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City Club of Eugene: Report From Our Children's Trust Climate Trial

Rachael McDonald

Recorded On: November 9, 2018

Air Date: November 12, 2018

The “Kids Climate Trial,” Juliana v. US, was scheduled to start in Eugene on October 29 in the Federal courthouse. The trial is currently on hold, but even so, this is probably the most far-reaching environmental litigation in the country this year and will have national media coverage from start to finish. This case seeks to force the federal government to take action to reduce carbon emissions under some new legal theories.

At this meeting we hear what has happened so far and what to expect from some of the people with the most knowledge and interest in the outcome, including one of the individuals who brought the case and two UO professors whose theories are shaping this groundbreaking litigation.


Kelsey Juliana, 22, of Eugene, has engaged in climate activism since age 10.

She has brought lawsuits, participated in climate marches, including a 1600 mile walk from Nebraska to Washington, DC. She has represented Our Children’s Trust at film festivals, classrooms and conferences throughout the US and overseas. She studies Environmental Studies at the UO.  She will describe why this litigation is important for her and all of us.

Coreal Riday-Whiteis the Community Engagement Manager for Our Children’s Trust. He earned a B.A. in Community Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a J.D. from the City University of New York, School of Law. Riday-White manages OCT’s partnerships and mobilization efforts in the lead-up to the OCT-supported landmark constitutional climate rights trial against the Trump administration, to begin on October 29, 2018.

Dr. Mary Christina Wood is a Philip H. Knight Professor of Law at the University of Oregon and the Faculty Director of the law school’s nationally acclaimed Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center.  She is an award-winning professor and the co-author of leading textbooks on public trust law and natural resources law.  Her book, Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age (Cambridge University Press), sets forth a new paradigm of global ecological responsibility. She originated the legal approach called Atmospheric Trust Litigation, now being used in cases brought on behalf of youth throughout the world, seeking to hold governments accountable to reduce carbon pollution within their jurisdictions. Professor Wood is a frequent speaker on climate issues and has received national and international attention for her sovereign trust approach to global climate policy.

John Davidson received his Juris Doctorate and a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1992. He clerked for the Oregon Court of Appeals and served as a public interest attorney before entering academia. He currently serves as an instructor in the UO Political Science department, where he teaches Constitutional Law and Intergenerational Justice, among other subjects. He is an amicus curiae in the Juliana case.

Program Coordinator:

Joel Korin

Copyright KLCC, 2018

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Sociology.
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