My name is Kelsey Juliana and I’m suing the United States government for causing and accelerating the climate change crisis. I’m 22 years old and I’ve been a climate advocate for more than half of my life.
The constitution guarantees all Americans the right to life, liberty, and property. But how is anyone supposed to live a life of freedom amid a climate crisis? My own government is violating my constitutional rights by its ongoing and deliberate actions that cause climate change and it’s not right.
I, along with 20 other young people from around the country, filed a lawsuit against the federal government in 2015, called Juliana v. United States.
We’re not asking for money. Instead, we’re asking the Court to order the government to develop and implement a National Climate Recovery Plan based on the best available science.
This plan should end the reign of fossil fuels and quickly decarbonize our atmosphere so that we can stabilize our climate system before it’s too late.
The longer we go without climate recovery, the more we risk allowing our climate to spiral completely out of control.
All of the expert witnesses in our lawsuit say that we are currently—already—in the “danger zone” and an “emergency situation” with only 1°C of planetary heating. Allowing the planet to heat up any more is not safe for our species, as well as so many others. And according to the Trump administration’s most recent environmental impact statement, the planet could heat as much as 7°F before the end of this century.
We cannot allow this to happen because we simply will not survive.
We originally filed our lawsuit against the Obama administration. That administration tried to have the case dismissed, but the judge ruled in our favor and found that we should be allowed to go to trial.
In 2017, the Trump administration inherited the lawsuit and it has done everything in its power, employing every conceivable tactic, to deny my fellow plaintiffs and me our right to present our case in court. This administration is so fiercely attempting to silence our voices.
At this point, every level of the federal judiciary—the U.S. District Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court—has denied the Trump administration’s efforts to have the case thrown out. Yet it will not halt its efforts to avoid standard legal procedures and confront us, the nation’s youth, in court.
Just last week the Trump administration asked the United States Supreme Court to again circumvent the ordinary procedures of federal litigation and stop our case from going to trial.
Our trial is officially scheduled to begin on October 29, 2018 in Eugene, Oregon, but it is currently on hold while the Supreme Court considers the Trump administration’s new request.
What we’re asking for could change everything.
My fellow plaintiffs and I want you with us as we fight for our right to be heard at trial to confront the United States government for knowingly violating our constitutional rights. Supporters will hold rallies in every state around the country on October 29, so if you can’t be with us in Eugene, find your local rally here.
Get regular updates by following @youthvgov on social media.
You can learn more about this case and get regular trial updates by tuning in to the No Ordinary Lawsuit podcast here.
Lastly, if you have the means, click here to make a donation to Our Children’s Trust, the nonprofit organization that supports our lawsuit and many others like it around the country.