Teen Climate Lawsuit Goes To Oregon Court Of Appeals

Oct 10, 2012

The Oregon Court of Appeals has agreed to hear a climate change lawsuit brought by two teens from Eugene.

One of the two plaintiffs, 16-year old Kelsey Juliana, is featured in a recent short film--

Kelsey Juliana: "Climate change is affecting Oregon because we're seeing droughts, we're seeing warmer temperatures and also we're seeing more fires."

Juliana and another Eugene teen, 12-year old Olivia Chernaik, are suing the state of Oregon. Portland attorney Tanya Sanerib is representing the two teens. The suit alleges the state is violating the public trust doctrine. Sanerib says it obligates government to protect natural resources. If the 3-judge panel finds in favor of the plaintiffs, she says, Oregon will need to develop a climate recovery plan.

Sanerib: "To protect our essential natural resources, and by that I mean our water, our atmosphere, our wildlife, our shorelines, things that Oregonians really cherish. That's what this lawsuit is about."

The Oregon Court of Appeals has not yet set a hearing date. Sanerib expects the climate lawsuit will go to court in 2013.