Lane County Judge Hears Climate Lawsuit

Apr 7, 2015

A Lane County Judge heard arguments Tuesday in a case brought by two youth against the state of Oregon. The suit asks for more to be done by leaders to prevent climate change.

Kelsey Juliana listens to hearing in Lane County Courtroom Tuesday.
Credit Brian Davies / Register Guard (pool)

Eugene teens Olivia Chernaik and Kelsey Juliana originally filed brought the suit four years ago. They're asking Judge Karsten Rasmussen to include the atmosphere as a public trust as is already the case with land and water. Attorney Chris Winter explained to reporters after the hearing.

Winter: "And does the state really have a fiduciary duty to take care of the atmosphere for present and future generations? Or can the state just kind of sit idly by and say, we're trying, but we're not going to evaluate the outcomes as to whether they're meaningful."

Attorney Chris Winter argues before Judge Karsten Rasmussen while Kelsey Juliana listens.
Credit Brian Davies / Register Guard (pool)

The state acknowledges that climate change is a concern but says it's doing more than enough to address it. Judge Rasmussen says he'll issue a ruling in a couple of months.