Our kids did it. They won.
Earlier this summer, Moms traveled to Helena, Montana, to stand in solidarity with the youth plaintiffs of Held v. State of Montana as they made the case that their home state had violated their right to a clean and healthful environment—a right guaranteed by their state’s constitution.
On August 14, Judge Kathy Seeley ruled in their favor, writing: “Plaintiffs have proven that as children and youth, they are disproportionately harmed by fossil fuel pollution and climate impacts.”
Our Montana field organizer, Michelle Uberuaga, who has been watching these kids take control of their future since day 1 of the suit, is celebrating:
“This is a historic and joyous moment for Montana and the world over. These young plaintiffs made a clear and compelling case that they have a fundamental right to a clean and healthful environment and that the state of Montana cannot ignore the consequences of climate change on their futures. As more youth across the country try to secure their rights to a safe climate, we will give them our full support and do all we can to make sure the momentum on their side is unstoppable.”
So, what’s next?
The nonprofit environmental law firm behind the Montana case—Our Children’s Trust—filed a climate change lawsuit in every state, with two in Hawaii and Oregon heading to trial.
Michelle says: “Fortunately, momentum is strong and growing. In fact, the youth victory in Montana could well serve as a new legal underpinning for future cases including in the state of Hawaii, where 14 youth are taking their case to court next June 2024.”
Momentum is exactly what we need at this critical moment. With climate disasters threatening the health of our children now and in the future, a win like this one can’t come soon enough. Now let’s get to work on the next one.