Co-plaintiffs climate scientist Dr. James Hansen and his granddaughter Sophie Kivlehan. (Photo courtesy Our Children’s Trust)
EUGENE, Oregon, August 13, 2015 (ENS) – Claiming that they are victims of harmful climate policies and activities perpetrated by the U.S. government, 21 children from across the country have filed a constitutional climate change lawsuit against the United States.
Filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene, the young plaintiffs, eight of them Eugene residents, are asking the court to order President Barack Obama and the members of his Cabinet to quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and put a national plan in place to stabilize the climate.
The lawsuit was filed on International Youth Day, Wednesday, August 12. It is backed by Our Children’s Trust, a Eugene nonprofit organization that supports similar lawsuits with children as plaintiffs in all 50 states.
Serving as co-plaintiff is world-famous climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, acting as a guardian for his granddaughter, Sophie Kivlehan, 17, and for future generations.
Kivlehan says, “I know climate change is going to have the biggest impact on my generation and generations to come. Our government isn’t taking action and we have a very small window to turn this around. I feel responsibility to take action.”
In a declaration submitted to the court in support of this complaint, Hansen writes, “In my opinion, this lawsuit is made necessary by the at-best schizophrenic, if not suicidal, nature of U.S. climate and energy policy.”