In a landmark climate trial, a Montana court on Monday ruled in favour of a group of youths who accused the western US state of violating their rights to a clean environment.
District Court Judge Kathy Seeley said a state law preventing agencies from considering the impacts of greenhouse gases when issuing permits for fossil fuel development was unconstitutional.
The case, Held v. State of Montana — brought by 16 plaintiffs ranging in age from five to 22 — has been closely watched because it could bolster similar litigation that has been filed across the country.
"By prohibiting analysis of GHG0 [greenhouse gas] emissions and corresponding impacts to the climate... the Montana Environmental Policy Act Limitation violates Youth Plaintiffs' right to a clean and healthful environment and is unconstitutional on its face," Seeley wrote.
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