Teens Take Climate Suit Back To Federal Court

Sep 12, 2016

Twenty-one teens who’ve filed a lawsuit against the federal government over climate change will get another day in court Tuesday. The hearing is before Federal Judge Ann Aiken in Eugene.

Teen climate plaintiffs rally after a hearing last spring at the Eugene Federal Courthouse.
Credit Our Children's Trust

Kelsey Juliana of Eugene is the lead plaintiff in the case against the federal government which calls for more action to combat climate change. Magistrate Judge Tom Coffin last spring heard motions from the federal government and energy companies to dismiss the case. He ruled in favor of the teens. But the defendants objected, so Judge Aiken will hear their arguments for dismissal. Juliana, now a 20-year old college student, says she doesn’t understand why the Obama administration is fighting the lawsuit.

Juliana: “To continue to push up against us in what I see as our rightful opportunity to go to court, to me that’s just outrageous and it’s very disappointing and it’s shameful on behalf of our federal government. President Obama, supposedly, wants to have climate change and climate action be his legacy.”

The climate lawsuit could go to trial if Judge Aiken agrees that the case has merit. Many of the teen plaintiffs and their families plan to be in the courtroom Tuesday.