Climate Kids' Federal Lawsuit Goes To Trial Early Next Year

Jun 29, 2017

A trial date has been set for the climate lawsuit brought against the federal government by 21 young people. Federal Judge Ann Aiken  will hear the case beginning February 5th in Eugene.

Young people suing the government in front of the Federal Courthouse in Eugene.
Credit Rachael McDonald

The 21 youth plaintiffs say the U.S. Government has long known the destructive effects of fossil fuels on the climate yet continues to allow and encourage their use. The suit seeks court-imposed limits on carbon emissions. The Obama Administration had tried to get the case dismissed. But Judge Aiken ruled last year it should go to trial. 21-year-old Kelsey Juliana of Eugene is the lead plaintiff suing the government.  “I have full faith in this case. I have full faith in my lawyers and I know we’re going to win,” Juliana says.

Three petroleum industry groups had signed on to intervene in the case under Obama. They’ve since withdrawn, citing their faith in the new administration’s ability to “safeguard” the industry. The Trump Administration has sought to appeal the case with a rarely used petition for a writ of mandamus.