Eugene, Oregon-based Our Children’s Trust welcomed the winter solstice with another courtroom victory December 19, after Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill gave the youth permission to add the State of Washington and Gov. Jay Inslee to their constitutional case for the right to a stable climate system.
Hill stressed the “emergent need for coordinated, science-based action by the state of Washington to address climate change,” adding that “it is time for these youth to have the opportunity to address their concerns in a court of law, concerns raised under statute and under the state and federal constitution.”
A week later, Our Children’s Trust announced it would seek testimony from ExxonMobil CEO and U.S. secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson, via a January 19 deposition in Dallas, Texas. Tillerson “is one of the most knowledgeable executives in the fossil fuel world on the role of his industry, alongside our federal government, in causing climate change and endangering these youth plaintiffs and all future generations,” OCT said in an end-of-year fundraiser. “Attorneys for the youth plaintiffs intend to use his deposition to uncover his and others’ culpability in the climate crisis.”
In Seattle, Judge Hill cited Our Children’s Trust’s parallel case in U.S. District Court, Juliana, et al. v. United States of America, which will move to full trial this year following a judicial decision in November. “Together, the decisions demonstrate these young people’s incredible momentum in the courts, and the judiciary’s intolerance of the unlawful and dangerous status quo of the legislative and executive branches,” the group stated last month. “The decisions also clearly identify the courts’ understanding that scientific standards must guide our governments’ actions to stop climate change.”