|The Alaska Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit that claims state policy on fossil fuels is harming the constitutional right of young Alaskans to a safe climate.
Sixteen Alaska youths in 2017 sued the state, claiming that human-caused greenhouse gas emission leading to climate change is creating long-term, dangerous health effects.
The lawsuit takes aim at a state statute that says it’s the policy of Alaska to promote fossil fuels, said Andrew Welle of Oregon-based Our Children’s Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting natural systems for present and future generations.
“The state has enacted a policy of promoting fossil fuels and implemented it in a way that is resulting in substantial greenhouse gas emissions in Alaska,” Welle said in a phone interview. “They’re harming these young kids.”
A central question in the lawsuit, as in previous federal and state lawsuits, is the role of courts in shaping climate policy.