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US top court refuses to block teens’ climate suit against govt

November 04, 2018 06:21 AM

COURTESY TOI NOV 4

US top court refuses to block teens’ climate suit against govt
Washington:

The Supreme Court on Friday declined for now to stop a lawsuit filed by young activists who say the government isn’t doing enough to prevent climate change. But the top court told the Trump administration that the government can still petition a lower court to dismiss the case.


The loss for the administration means it now faces a high-profile examination of US climate change policy during the trial that was due to begin on October 29 in Eugene, Oregon. The court on October 19 had temporarily put the case on hold.

The 21 young people pressing the case say US government policies have exacerbated global warming for decades in violation of their constitutional rights and those of future generations. They want the government to put in place a plan to phase out carbon emissions and stabilize the Earth’s climate. The youths were aged between 11 amd 20 when the suit was filed in 2015. The Trump administration inherited the case from President Barack Obama’s administration, which had similarly tried to have it thrown out.

In an earlier encounter with the case in July, the Supreme Court also expressed some skepticism about the legal theory in the case, which is based in part on what the plaintiffs say is their constitutional right to a “climate system capable of sustaining human life.” In a brief, unsigned order in July, the Supreme Court said the breadth of that theory was striking. But the court let the case move forward, saying its intervention would be premature.

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