Youth Climate Activists Score a Huge Legislative Win in Montana

Young people like this give me so much hope for the future.

Youth Climate Activists Score a Huge Legislative Win in Montana
Photo by Matthew Lancaster / Unsplash

A Montana state court has ruled in favour of a group of young people who sued the state for preventing environmental impact reviews and violating their constitutional right to a “clean and healthful environment in Montana for present and future generations."

The young people successfully argued that the Montana's energy policy prevents the state from weighing greenhouse gas emissions in approving the development of new factories and power plants and alleged the state had "never denied a permit for a fossil fuel project." As a result of the order, any Montana statutes prohibiting climate impact analysis and remedies are now invalid.

This sets an important legal precedent for how courts can hold states accountable for climate inaction. July Olson, executive director of Our Children's Trust, called it "a huge win for Montana, for youth, for democracy and for our climate."  

I also love this comment from Michael Gerrard, the founder of Columbia’s Sabin Center, about how the state responded to the lawsuit in court: “Everyone expected them to put on a more vigorous defense,” he said. “And they may have concluded that the underlying science of climate change was so strong that they didn’t want to contest it.”

Read the full article here.

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