Federal judge holds public hearing for climate change lawsuit in Eugene

The lawsuit claims the government has known for decades that carbon pollution causes climate change but has failed to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Posted: Jul 18, 2018 6:13 PM
Updated: Jul 18, 2018 6:45 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A federal judge heard arguments Wednesday in Eugene in a climate change lawsuit filed by young activists against the government.

This is the first time a judge has heard arguments in this case since 2016, which has been going on for the last three years.

More than 20 people gathered on the steps of the Wayne Lyman Morse Courthouse before the hearing.

The lawsuit was brought by 21 children and young adults from across the country. The suit claims the government has known for decades that carbon pollution causes climate change but has failed to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Kelsey Juliana, one of the plaintiffs, told KEZI most of them are too young to vote, so they believe this lawsuit will make a lasting impact and hope it can inspire other youth to do the same.

"To be honest the government knows exactly what they need to do,” Juliana said. “They need to look at our energy, transportation agriculture sectors and make sure that our society is pushing for a stable climate system. So, the government knows what they need to do, and they know they have the power to do so. They need to do that. And our court system is going to be the one to push them to do that."

The Trump administration has gone to the U.S. Supreme Court in its effort to stop the lawsuit.

KEZI spoke with the lead attorney on the case with the U.S. Department of Justice, who said he was not authorized to comment on the case.

A non-jury trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 29 in Eugene.

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