A groundbreaking climate lawsuit brought against the federal government by 21 children has been hailed by environmentalists as a bold new strategy to press for climate action in the United States.
But the Trump administration – which has pledged to undo Barack Obama’s climate regulations – is doing its best to make sure the case doesn’t get far.
The Trump administration this week filed a motion to overturn a ruling by a federal judge back in November that cleared the lawsuit for trial – and filed a separate motion to delay trial preparation until that appeal is considered.
The lawsuit – the first of its kind – argues the federal government has violated the constitutional right of the 21 plaintiffs to a healthy climate system.
Environmental groups say the case – if it’s successful – could force even a reluctant government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take other measures to counter warming.
‘It would be huge’ said Pat Gallagher legal director at the Sierra Club – who is not involved in the case.
‘It would upend climate litigation – climate law – as we know it’.