Public Trust Doctrine

Climate Change Lawsuit by 21 Youth Reaches Critical Juncture

Climate Change Lawsuit by 21 Youth Reaches Critical Juncture

The struggle to address the climate crisis has unfolded in a wide variety of venues over the past three decades: international conferences, street demonstrations and school strikes, policy advocacy and lobbying events, legislative negotiations, court proceedings and—most recently—a transatlantic sailboat crossing by a Swedish teenager.

In the realm of court proceedings, the most compelling legal challenge to unfettered climate change has come from a group of 21 American youth who have sued their federal government for having failed to act to limit climate change—while profiting by selling the rights for the extraction of coal, oil and natural gas.