Government in US taken to court for supporting fossil fuel industry

May 17, 2016

How can we, as citizens, hold anyone to account for climate change? Action by many governments – even the Swedish government  – seems too little too late and it can feel as though there’s little we can do about it. But we can be inspired by a group of students in the USA who are taking their government to court.

 

In a recent ruling in Oregon USA, the federal court has given permission for 21 young people aged 8-19 to bring a case against the federal government for supporting the fossil fuel industry. Atmospheric litigation has begun.

 

pic atmospheric legislation plaintiffsThe court found that the federal government has a duty to protect the natural resources and systems on which we depend – the public trust doctrine.

 

Furthermore the court found that the government was violating the young people’s constitutional rights by supporting the fossil fuel industry.

 

 

Other atmospheric trust litigation lawsuits are underway and so far they’ve been more successful than expected. So I’m wondering,

 

  • When will atmospheric legislation begin in Sweden?
  • Who will the first case be against?  the government, a company or group of companies?

We’d be very interested to hear from anyone preparing a case!

Claire Wigg
claire.wigg@zeromission.se