WHAT: Washington youth plaintiffs, their attorney and partners will hold a press conference to unveil proposed climate legislation updating existing greenhouse gas emission limits in state law to align with best available climate science.
WHEN: Tuesday, September 6th at 11:00 a.m. PST
WHERE: The First Church, 180 Denny Way, Seattle, Washington 98109
WHO: 16-year-old plaintiff Aji Piper of Plant for the Planet, Andrea Rodgers, plaintiffs’ attorney, Jill Mangaliman, Got Green’s executive director, and Dr. Bruce Amundson, President of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility.
WHY: Youth plaintiffs are unveiling their proposed climate legislation after the Inslee administration declined to consult with the youth and their scientific experts on the GHG emission targets needed to protect their constitutional rights. The youth secured a May 16, 2016 court order directing the Washington Department of Ecology to promulgate a rule capping and regulating carbon dioxide emissions by the end of the year. In June, Ecology issued its revised Clean Air Rule that would fail the children of Washington and future generations.
The plaintiffs brought their climate case against the Washington Department of Ecology for its persistent refusal to implement science-based carbon pollution limits. Ecology has now missed at least three deadlines to make a legislative recommendation to update the existing GHG emission limits, which Ecology has said “need to be more aggressive” and “adjusted to better reflect the current science.” The youths’ lawsuit is part of the global youth climate campaign led by Our Children’s Trust.
Gov. Inslee’s Clean Air Rule was met with widespread disappointment among climate activists, with nearly every environmental group in Washington state calling it weak, unambitious, and not based on science.
“Our children have a constitutionally guaranteed right to a stable climate and livable future,” said Andrea Rodgers, the Western Environmental Law Center attorney representing the youths. “My clients remain frustrated that the policymakers of today are not listening to their call for science-based action to protect their rights and they are now looking to defend those rights in other ways.”
The youth plaintiffs are also planning to deliver 124 handwritten letters from children around the state to CEO’s of the top greenhouse gas emitters in Washington, requesting that the companies work with the children and their science and policy experts to develop emissions reduction plans to protect their rights to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere.
Our Children’s Trust is a nonprofit organization, elevating the voice of youth, those with most to lose in the climate crisis, to secure the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate on behalf of present and future generations. We lead the global human rights and environmental justice campaign to implement enforceable science-based Climate Recovery Plans that will return atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to levels below 350 ppm. Youth have secured judicial rulings in their favor in WA, NM and MA, and in their landmark U.S. federal climate lawsuit, and have multiple other cases pending. www.ourchildrenstrust.org/
Plant-for-the-Planet connects children around the world as Ambassadors for Climate Justice, planting trees, educating the public, influencing decision makers, and now going to court with expert legal guidance. Children inspire children at Academies, free one-day workshops where children ages 8-14 find their voice speaking out for their future and taking action to create a better world.
The Western Environmental Law Center is a public interest nonprofit law firm. WELC combines legal skills with sound conservation biology and environmental science to address major environmental issues throughout the West. WELC does not charge clients and partners for services, but relies instead on charitable gifts from individuals, families, and foundations to accomplish its mission. www.westernlaw.org