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USA: 21 youths sue Govt. claiming fossil fuel policies endanger future generations

Author: Amel Ahmed, Aljazeera America, Published on: 14 August 2015

“US youths sue government over fossil fuel policies”, 12 Aug 2015

A group of youths from across the U.S. filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the federal government on climate change, claiming that the nation’s fossil fuel policies violate their constitutional rights. The 21 plaintiffs, ages 8 to 19, argue in court documents that in continuing to promote the use of energy sources with a large carbon footprint, politicians in Washington are bartering America’s future for short-term economic gain…The federal suit…asks the court to order federal agencies to develop a national plan to decrease atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide to a safe level of 350 parts per million by the year 2100. Former NASA chief climate scientist James E. Hansen, a co-plaintiff, said…sensible means exist to rapidly phase down CO2 emissions, such as a “rising carbon fee” collected from fossil fuel companies, with funds distributed to the public…The case relies on the public trust doctrine, which obliges the government to protect resources essential to the survival of all generations…Although many cases have applied the public trust doctrine to bodies of water, courts have yet to apply it to matters of climate change...

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