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US court rules in favour of Montana youths in a historic climate lawsuit

Montana youths achieve a legal triumph as a judge rules that the state’s failure to consider climate impacts in approving fossil fuel projects breaches the constitution. This landmark “Held v. Montana” case contributes to the fight against climate-disrupting activities, marking a pivotal moment in addressing environmental concerns.



UNITED STATES:In a significant legal victory, a group of youth in Montana has achieved success in a landmark lawsuit, according to The New York Times.

The court found that young people have a constitutional right to a healthful environment and that the state must consider potential climate damage when approving projects.

The ruling by a judge states that the state’s failure to account for climate change impacts when authorizing fossil fuel projects violates the US Constitution.

The case, known as Held v. Montana, arrives amid a season of extreme heat and deadly wildfires.

The court’s decision represents a milestone in the broader campaign against government endorsement of coal, oil, and gas activities, which contribute to rapid global warming.

Julia Olson, the founder of Our Children’s Trust, a legal nonprofit that led the case on behalf of the youth, hailed the verdict as a turning point in combating the devastating consequences of human-induced climate disruptions.

The ruling mandates Montana, a notable coal and gas producer, to factor climate considerations into decisions concerning the approval or renewal of fossil fuel projects.

While the Montana attorney general’s office plans to appeal the decision, experts predict that this ruling will have far-reaching implications, influencing similar climate litigation cases worldwide.

The case centred on language within Montana’s constitution guaranteeing residents a clean and healthful environment and obligating the state to preserve and enhance the environment for present and future generations.

This Montana case is part of a larger wave of legal actions related to climate change, targeting both corporations and governments globally.

The decision is expected to serve as a precedent for future climate litigation, reinforcing the link between emissions, climate harm, and individual experiences of these effects.

As climate-related lawsuits continue to gain momentum, the ruling underscores the growing urgency to address climate concerns in legal proceedings and policymaking.

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