On this week’s episode of Lever Time, Julia Rock and Frank Cappello speak with environmental lawyer Julia Olson to discuss a recent historic win for young climate activists she represents in Montana.
A transcript of this episode is available here.
This past Monday, a judge in Montana ruled that young people are entitled to a “clean and healthful” environment. The case, known as Held v. Montana, included 16 plaintiffs ages 5 to 22 who testified that the state government’s pro-fossil fuel policies were unconstitutional. Held v. Montana was the first of several youth-led U.S. climate lawsuits to make it to trial.
Olson is the executive director and lead counsel for Our Children’s Trust, a nonprofit public interest law firm that represents plaintiffs in a number of youth-led state climate cases as well as in a federal lawsuit, Juliana v. United States. Julia and Frank spoke with Olson about this historic win, how the case’s legal strategy can be applied across the country, and why the Biden administration is attempting to prevent other youth-led climate lawsuits from going to trial.
- Our Children’s Trust
- ‘Gamechanger’: Judge Rules In Favor Of Young Activists In US Climate Trial (The Guardian, 2023)
- Biden DOJ: “No Constitutional Right To A Stable Climate” (The Lever, 2023)
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