Can ‘climate kids’ take on governments as well as win?

“There’s a lot of gallows humor within high schools,” Margolin, 16, tells CNN. “the idea’s a weird normalization of the fact in which there’s not much time left because of the climate crisis, as well as a lot of young people are just accepting the idea.”

“When you turn on the news, the idea’s not like ‘Hello, the earth is actually ending as well as there’s a short amount of time to fix the idea’ … Why is actually everyone not talking about in which with urgency as well as dealing with the idea like the international emergency the idea is actually?”

So, together with Nadia Nazar, 16, of Baltimore, she launched Zero Hour — an organization pledging to take “concrete action around climate change.”
Last Thursday, youth volunteers coming from Zero Hour lobbied members of Congress in Washington, D.C. to sign a pledge to stop taking money coming from the fossil fuel industry.

in which was the start of a three-day campaign in which also included an art protest as well as a youth climate march coming from the National Mall to Lincoln Park. Sister marches also took place in brand-new York City as well as London.

yet Margolin’s not just organizing marches, she’s also willing to take her case to court.

The young activist is actually one of the plaintiffs in a youth-led lawsuit against the State of Washington. They claim in which the state has violated their constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, as well as equal protection of the law by creating as well as supporting a fossil fuel-based transportation as well as energy system.

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s communications director, Jaime Smith, says in which Inslee has helped promote vehicle electrification, investments in clean energy technology, as well as increased transit options.

She adds: “the governor has made climate change one of his top priorities as well as agrees in which more action is actually necessary to reduce carbon pollution.”

Like Margolin, additional young people around the earth are holding their governments legally responsible for the effects of climate change.

Related: The kids suing Donald Trump over inaction on global warming

Can these kids win?

As of July, there have been over 1,000 climate change cases filed against governments, corporations as well as individuals in 24 countries — 888 of those cases were located inside the United States, according to Colombia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.
Youth activists have been at the forefront of several high-profile cases, including the 21 young plaintiffs suing the US government for failing to address the climate crisis.
The US Government has filed a motion with the Supreme Court to halt the trial, which is actually set for 29 October.
In Colombia, 25 young people between the ages of seven as well as 26 years successfully sued the Colombian Government, arguing in which its failure to reduce deforestation inside the Amazon threatens their constitutional rights to a healthy environment, life, food as well as water.
In April, Colombia’s Supreme Court gave the government several months to come up with an action plan to reduce net deforestation to zero.
The Colombian plaintiffs.
The court recognized the Colombian Amazon as a “subject of rights,” meaning the rainforest has the same legal rights as a human being, as well as is actually entitled to protection, conservation, maintenance as well as restoration.

In Pakistan as well as India, two young girls have also filed petitions against their respective governments, arguing in which they have been adversely impacted by climate change.

Rabab Ali, through her father, environmental attorney Qazi Ali Athar, filed a climate change petition against the Federation of Pakistan as well as the Province of Sindh inside the Supreme Court of Pakistan in April 2016, when she was just seven years old.

The petition argues in which the continual use of fossil fuels — particularly coming from the mining as well as burning of coal to produce electricity — has adversely impacted the youngest generation’s right to a healthy life.

Nine-year-old Ridhima Pandey filed a petition before India’s National Green Tribunal in March 2017, asserting in which the Indian government has failed to implement emissions reductions policies as well as mitigate climate change.

However, both cases have yet to proceed to trial. CNN reached out to the Indian as well as Pakistani governments for comment, yet neither had responded at the time of publishing.

additional climate cases have had less success.

In January an Oslo court dismissed a lawsuit brought by Greenpeace as well as youth-led environmental organization, Nature as well as Youth, alleging in which the Norwegian government violated the constitution by issuing licenses for deep-sea oil as well as gas drilling inside the Arctic.

The court said Norway’s plans for oil as well as gas exploration inside the Arctic were acceptable.

Related: Arctic temperatures surge inside the dead of winter
Nature as well as Youth members demonstrate outside a Norwegian cabinet meeting which has a sign in which reads: "What the hell are you doing?"

The environmental organizations will argue their case before the appeals court in 2019, according to Nature as well as Youth.

Providing legal support

Oregon-based Our Children’s Trust helps young people around the earth bring legal action against governments, as well as is actually assisting Margolin as well as the 12 additional plaintiffs with their action against the State of Washington.

Founder as well as executive director, Julia Olson, tells CNN in which “legal precedent exists for these kids to win every single one of these cases.”

She adds: “When you have a situation where people’s lives as well as personal security as well as additional liberties as well as their property are being affirmatively harmed by the conduct of government in promoting as well as perpetuating a fossil fuel-based energy system … when you have in which level of infringement of constitutional rights, the courts need to step in. They actually have an obligation to step in.”

However, Sabin Center climate law fellow Dena Adler cautions in which “getting a court to recognize fundamental rights to an environment or to broaden interpretation of these rights is actually often an uphill battle.”

Related: Meet the mom litigating the ‘biggest case on the planet’
Julia Olson of Our Children's Trust.

Olson believes in which young people are more aware of the injustices inside the earth. “They understand not only the problem, yet they understand the solutions as well as how we can work our way out of in which mess.”

Margolin as well as additional young climate activists around the earth are testament to in which.

“We’re lobbying, we’re marching, we’re inside the streets, we’re in our leaders offices, we’re inside the courts. We’re attacking in which at every angle in which we can,” says Margolin.

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