USA: State of Florida to face youth-led climate lawsuit over permitting & licensing fossil fuel activities

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Article
16 April 2018

In Florida, a New Youth Climate Lawsuit Targets Government Policies

Author: Karen Savage, Climate Liability News

Eight young people have filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida for violating their Constitutional right to a safe climate...[T]he young plaintiffs allege that Florida officials are contributing to climate change by permitting and licensing fossil fuel activities.  The young people are asking the court to order the state to create a science-based plan to curb climate change...Because Florida’s constitution recognizes the public trust doctrine, the suit says, state officials are legally obligated to protect the state’s natural resources...Plaintiffs do not allege the defendants have failed to act against climate change, but instead say the state has exacerbated the problem with policies that perpetuate an energy system based on greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels...As a result of climate change, Florida is already experiencing more extreme precipitation events, ocean acidification and sunny day flooding due to rising sea levels.  Doctors have also reported an increase in heat-related illnesses and other health-related climate impacts.  The plaintiffs allege that by failing to protect the state’s natural resources, the defendants are denying their fundamental rights to liberty, pursuit of happiness and property, and personal and economic health, safety and well-being...

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Article
16 April 2018

Kids are suing Gov. Rick Scott to force Florida to take action on climate change

Author: Alex Harris, Miami Herald (USA)

...Eight young Florida residents...are the named plaintiffs in a lawsuit that seeks to force a state extremely vulnerable to climate-driven sea rise to start work on a court-ordered, science-based "Climate Recovery Plan."  The group is represented by Our Children's Trust...In the suit, Reynolds and her lawyers accuse Scott and his administration of rolling back or failing to implement any legislation aimed at measuring or cutting back on carbon emissions, as well as ignoring the threat of rising seas on the state's coasts, which provide the economic engine for the tourism-dependent state...In a statement, Scott's spokesman McKinley Lewis said “The Governor signed one of the largest environmental protection budgets in Florida’s history last month – investing $4 billion into Florida’s environment. The Governor is focused on real solutions to protect our environment – not political theater or a lawsuit orchestrated by a group based in Eugene, Oregon.”

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Article
16 April 2018

Reynolds et al. v. State of Florida et al. - Complaint

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