In Montana, a landmark climate trial led by 16 children and young adults began Monday in the capital Helena. The lawsuit, which is the first of its kind to go to trial in the U.S., was filed in 2020 by plaintiffs between the ages of 5 and 22. They accuse the state of Montana of violating their constitutional rights as it pushed pro-fossil fuel policies that devastated the environment and severely impacted their health. This is Julia Olson, executive director of Our Children’s Trust, the nonprofit law firm representing the young plaintiffs.
Julia Olson: “Children need lawyers, and they need advocates, because our system of law does not prioritize the needs of the youngest among us. And when it comes to climate crisis, human laws are not paying attention to the laws of nature and what scientists say is necessary to protect our children and all future generations.”
Earlier this month, a judge cleared the way for a children’s climate case against the United States government to begin in a federal court in Oregon, after Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts blocked the lawsuit in 2018.