Read the full post on The Climate Law Blog.
One year ago, eight young climate activists (ranging from 9 to 14 years old) petitioned Washington State’s Department of Ecology (“the Department”) to adopt and implement stricter greenhouse gas emissions regulations based on the most current and best available climate science. When the Department denied the petition last August, the petitioners sued to appeal the denial. The activists’ efforts are part of a campaign of similar legal cases coordinated by the non-profit Our Children’s Trust, through which the youths are calling for urgent action to protect Washington’s natural resources for current and future generations of children.
On Tuesday, June 23, a court decision ordered the Department to reconsider their denial of the petition. Effectively, Zoe & Stella Foster v. Washington Department of Ecology has become the first case in the United States in which a court ordered a state agency to consider the best available climate science when setting greenhouse gas emissions restrictions. King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill issued the decision, and the young petitioners were represented by attorney Andrea Rodgers of the Western Environmental Law Center.