The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Friday dismissed a climate change lawsuit filed by a group of young people against the US.
The case was brought by 21 children, who were also represented by their guardians, arguing that they have a constitutional right to live in a habitable world free from climate disaster.
The court found that although climate change is an important and timely issue, the case is outside of the court’s scope for resolution. The court clarified its view regarding the federal government’s contribution to climate change:
The record also established that the government’s contribution to climate change is not simply a result of inaction. The government affirmatively promotes fossil fuel use in a host of ways, including beneficial tax provisions, permits for imports and exports, subsidies for domestic and overseas projects, and leases for fuel extraction on federal land.
The opinion further states that although the government was not guilty of inaction, its ongoing attempts to regulate fossil fuels have been in vain: “Copious expert evidence establishes that this unprecedented rise stems from fossil fuel combustion and will wreak havoc on the Earth’s climate if unchecked.”