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Using kids to file environmental lawsuits: Fair or exploitative?


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kids-environmental-lawsuitsWatchdog.org:

In their battle against fossil fuels, environmental organizations have long used the courts to achieve what they can’t win in the marketplace.

 

But in an increasing number of recent lawsuits, those organizations are employing a new twist: Using kids as plaintiffs.

 

Eugene, Ore.-based Our Children’s Trust has been one of the driving forces behind a series of lawsuits in various states with children acting as plaintiffs, some as young as 8 years old.

 

“We wanted to support young people in engaging in democracy because many of them can’t vote,” said Julia Olson, the organization’s executive director, an attorney and mother of two. “One principal way for them to take action with their government is to bring cases in court and to petition rule-making bodies like agencies at the state level to enact rules to limit carbon emissions.”

 

But while the strategy has been greeted with cheers in the green movement, the use of what Olson calls “youth plaintiffs” has generated criticism in other quarters.Scissors-32x32.png


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