Young People’s Bold Lawsuits to Protect the Climate

Young People’s Bold Lawsuits to Protect the Climate


Europe:  2021 to September 2023:

6 Portuguese Youth Are Suing 33 Countries to Speed Up Climate Action:  The European Human Rights Court will hear the suit, which aims to hasten climate action by governments.  Published September 27, 2023:

United Nations Strengthens Children’s Rights To Fight Climate Change In Court:  Posted in September 2023: and

These Youth Climate Activists Are Taking Europe to Court:  “It’s a human rights issue.”

December 2021:  Portuguese Teenagers Take 33 European Governments to Court:


U.S.:  2023:

Biden Administration Tried to Block Landmark Climate Lawsuit:  Do you remember when Biden campaigned for President in 2020 with promises to protect the climate?  In July 2023 – during a record heat wave – the Biden administration actually OPPOSED IN COURT the landmark youth climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, and TRIED TO DISMISS the 2015 lawsuit filed by 21 young plaintiffs seeking to establish a constitutional guarantee to a livable climate.  Biden’s administration claimed “there is no constitutional right to a stable climate system.”  This article was published on August 17, 2023:

‘Nothing Short of Outrageous’: Attorneys for Youth Climate Plaintiffs Blast Biden DOJ:  “It is our hope and expectation that the courts will see through the DOJ’s tactics and ensure that this constitutional case gets to trial immediately,” said a lawyer with Our Children’s Trust:

Support Youth Climate Justice in 2023, Support Juliana v. US!  Although Biden had campaigned with promises to help the climate, his administration is OPPOSING YOUNG PEOPLE who want to protect the climate!  This was posted January 30, 2023:  Please click to tell them to stop their opposition to the young people’s lawsuit!


U.S. 2022:

Young people are using the courts to hold the government accountable for the climate crisis:  This was posted December 29, 2022:

Tell Attorney General Garland: It’s time for the Department of Justice to end its opposition to Juliana v. United States:  This was posted in August 2022:

Many other online petitions are urging Biden’s Attorney General to STOP OPPOSING the young people’s climate lawsuit!  I did not copy all of those links here.


Montana:  June-August 2023:

August 2013 victory:  16 Young People in Montana Just Won a Historic Climate Lawsuit.  “This is the strongest decision on climate change ever issued by any court,” expert says.

Montana judge hands young plaintiffs significant victory in landmark climate trial:

“Watershed Moment”: Montana Rules Youth Have Constitutional Right to Healthy Climate:

Montana Youth Sued Their Government Over Climate Change and Won. Here’s Why That’s a Big Deal

Meet One of the Teens Suing Montana over Climate Crisis. She Says Planet’s Future Is at Stake:

 Montana judge hands young plaintiffs significant victory in landmark climate trial:

 The groundbreaking youth-led climate trial in Montana was wrapping up in June 2023:

A surprising twist occurred during the June 2023 Montana climate trial:

Recapping the first few days of the June 2023 youth climate trial in Montana:

Youth Are Suing Montana for Failing to Protect Their Future From Climate Chaos.  The lawsuit is based on Montana’s state constitution, which enshrines the right to a clean and healthful environment:


Canada:  February 2023:

Court Hears Appeal in Canadian Youth Climate Lawsuit:  With the Canadian government still boosting fossil fuels, it’s time for young Canadians’ day in court, argue lawyers suing the government.


More Resources:

The Youth Climate Justice Handbook:  A legal memorandum presenting state of the art arguments for climate justice:


I have older articles too.






About GlenAnderson 1515 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093