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montana climate lawsuit activist

The Montana climate lawsuit has emboldened young activists, including this one

2 min read

Kate Selig reports in TheWashington Post about Tia Hatton and other plaintiffs who await a climate trial that pits them against the federal government, in a case that started well before the landmark Montana ruling earlier this month in favor of another group of youth plaintiffs.

In a nutshell:

In an unprecedented legal victory, a Montana court recently ruled that the state's promotion of fossil fuels violated the constitutional rights of young activists. The ruling came as a surprise after a history of climate-related lawsuits failing in courts. Another climate activist, Tia Hatton, had joined a different landmark lawsuit known as Juliana v. United States when she was 18. This lawsuit, filed in 2015, argued that the government's negligence regarding the dangers of fossil fuel consumption violated the plaintiffs' rights. The Trump administration challenge the case. Despite years of setbacks and doubts, Hatton and her fellow activists find renewed hope as they witness victories in related cases, believing their efforts are making headway in advocating for climate-related legal action.

Key quote:

“Montana shows that when it’s all laid out, we have a solid case," Hatton told The Washington Post. We’re carving out new legal territory, but that doesn’t mean the court shouldn’t uphold these fundamental rights that are being threatened by climate change.”

The big picture:

The extraction and combustion of fossil fuels have been associated with a range of adverse health effects. The release of pollutants from these processes, such as particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds, contributes to poor air quality. Prolonged exposure to these pollutants has been linked to respiratory diseases, cardiovascular issues, and even premature death. The emission of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel activities is also a significant driver of climate change, leading to more frequent and severe heatwaves, which can exacerbate existing health conditions and pose new challenges for public health systems.

Read the article in The Washington Post.

Young people are entitled to a ‘clean and healthful’ environment. Montana’s policies are endangering that, write Montana lawsuit plaintiffs Georgianna Fischer and Claire Vlases in a recent opinion piece for EHN.

About the author(s):

EHN Staff

Articles written and posted by staff at Environmental Health News

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