Through Judicial Action




Montana Repeals State Energy Policy as Climate Trial Nears

By Dana Drugmand 04/03/23
Montana has repealed its 30-year-old energy policy – including a 2011 amendment that prioritized fossil-fuel development. The move comes as a June trial date approaches for a youth-led climate lawsuit against the state.
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This will be the world’s first ever climate trial of a state transportation system

“These 14 youth are making history. For the first time ever on our planet, these young people in Hawaiʻi are holding their state transportation department accountable for its actions that worsen the climate crisis and…
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In Montana, it’s youth vs. the state in a landmark climate case

By David Gelles 03/24/23
Sixteen young Montanans have sued their state, arguing that its support of fossil fuels violates the state Constitution....
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Is a healthy environment a ‘fundamental right’? Utah Supreme Court to hear climate case

By Kaitlyn Bancroft 03/17/23
Natalie R. v. State of Utah was filed by Our Children’s Trust, a nonprofit public interest law firm that provides campaign-based legal services to youths seeking to "secure their legal rights to a safe climate,"…
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First Court Hearing in Historic Youth Climate Rights Case Held in Hawai‘i

Youth plaintiffs and their attorneys in the constitutional climate case Navahine F. v. Hawai‘i Department of Transportation appeared today before the Honorable Judge Jeffrey P. Crabtree at the First Circuit Environmental Court in Honolulu to…
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Utah dismisses youth climate case. But it’s not over

By Kylie Mohr 12/08/22
Last month, a Utah judge dismissed a suit brought by a group of children and teenagers who alleged that the state was shortening their lives by authorizing fossil fuel developments. The plaintiffs’ lawyers, however, say…
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First ‘Kids’ Climate Trial Will Be Heard in Montana

By Lesley Clark 10/05/22
Young people suing the state of Montana over the effects of climate change are expected to go to trial next June, becoming the first youth climate activists in the U.S. to argue their case in…
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Kids’ climate change lawsuit tossed by Virginia judge

By Clark Mindock 09/20/22
A Virginia state judge has tossed a lawsuit filed on behalf of 13 young people who claim a state law that promotes fossil fuel development violates their constitutional rights, finding the government is immune to…
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State judge dismisses youth climate suit; due process questions raised

By Patrick Larsen 09/16/22
A lawsuit brought by 13 young people against the state of Virginia for past and ongoing permitting of fossil fuel projects was dismissed by Richmond Circuit Court Judge Clarence N. Jenkins on Friday.
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Youth-Led Climate Change Lawsuits Are a Tactic to Hold Governments Responsible

By Ray Levy Uyeda 07/25/22
Rikki Held grew up on a 7,000-acre ranch in Broadus, Montana, where she learned the family business of ranching, hunted deer and elk, and played in the river that cut through the land. But drought,…
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Youth-led climate change lawsuits are increasing across the country

By Eric Fayeulle 04/23/22
Ava Lazar made her first climate documentary at age 11. "When I was little, my older sister was very concerned about climate change, and I didn't really know what it was,” said Lazar. “But she…
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Date set for first youth-led climate trial in U.S. history 

By Lucas Thompson 02/07/22
For the first time in U.S. history, a youth-led climate change lawsuit will go to trial. In Held v. State of Montana, 16 youth plaintiffs have sued the state over its energy policy, alleging that…
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YOUTH v GOV the documentary

YOUTH v GOV is the story of the Juliana v. The United States of America constitutional lawsuit and the 21 American youth, ages 14 to 25, who are taking on the world’s most powerful government.…

Youth v. Gov is what we do at Our Children’s Trust: representing and supporting youth securing their legal right to a safe climate

The world’s only non-profit public interest law firm dedicated exclusively to securing the legal rights of youth to a healthy atmosphere and safe climate, based on the best available science.

Previous Cases and Legal Actions in Montana

Youth petitioned the Montana Supreme Court for original jurisdiction asking the court to declare “(1) that the State of Montana holds the atmosphere in trust for the present and future citizens of the state of…

Environmental Rights in State Constitutions

The constitutions of more than three-quarters of the countries on earth have explicit reference to environmental rights or responsibilities In the last several years courts in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Australia, Pakistan, Nepal and Colombia…

How youth climate court cases became a global trend

This week Germany’s supreme court ruled that the country’s climate law is partly unconstitutional and ordered the government to draw up clear emissions reduction targets after 2030.