SEATTLE (AP) — Eight children asked a Seattle judge Tuesday to find Washington state in contempt for failing to adequately protect them and future generations from the harmful effects of climate change, part of a nationwide effort by young people to try to force action on global warming.
The petitioners, between 12 and 16 years old, asked a state judge to step in and require the state Department of Ecology to come up with science-based numeric emissions reductions.
The state argued that it has complied with the court’s prior orders and there’s no basis for finding the Department of Ecology in contempt.
After hearing arguments Tuesday afternoon, King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill said she needed more time and would rule at a later date.
The case is part of a nationwide effort led by the Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust to force states and the federal government to take action on climate change.
This month, a federal judge in Eugene, Oregon, allowed a similar climate change case against President Barack Obama’s administration to proceed. In that lawsuit, 21 activists ages 9 to 20 argue that the federal government’s actions violate their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, and the government has violated its obligation to hold certain natural resources in trust for future generations.