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As Climate Situation Worsens, Young Plaintiffs Wait For Trial

Alec Cowan

Attorneys for a group of young people suing the government over climate change are urging the courts to let their case be heard.

Credit Alec Cowan / KLCC

Juliana Versus the United States was put on hold by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last month after the federal government requested a halt to the case that was set to go to trial on October 29th. Attorney Julia Olson of Eugene represents 21 people aged 11 to 22. She says the delay has been frustrating for the plaintiffs and their supporters, especially as news about climate change becomes more and more dire.Olson: It’s a very heavy emotional weight for everybody to carry knowing what’s at stake. Knowing that emissions are rising. They rose 2.5 percent in the United States this year. Knowing what the trump Administration is doing in the climate talks right now by promoting coal.The lawsuit claims the government violates the constitutional rights of the youth by actively promoting a fossil fuel based energy system that has perpetuated climate change.   

Copyright 2018 KLCC

Rachael McDonald is News Director at KLCC. She’s been with the station for more than 10 years. Previously, she established the Richland, Washington bureau for the Northwest News Network. She also worked as News Director at KAZU in Monterey, California. Rachael has won numerous awards for her reporting.