Climate Litigation Making Headlines Again

The ongoing litigation seeking a court-ordered mandate to suppress fossil fuel usage has recently seen significant developments. The Manhattan Contrarian provides an in-depth analysis of these developments and the broader implications of the lawsuits.

In a 2015 lawsuit filed in Oregon, a group of teenagers, with the backing of environmental lawyers, sued the federal government for alleged violations of their constitutional right to a clean environment. The plaintiffs sought a nationwide phase-out of fossil fuels and a drawdown of excess atmospheric CO2. Initially, many believed that this case, dubbed the "stupidest litigation" for its audacity, would never gain traction. However, the Manhattan Contrarian has been following its progress and recently reported that the case, despite seeming final decisions, is still alive and pending in the District Court.

The Justice Department, now under the Biden administration, has recently filed its third petition to the Ninth Circuit to dismiss the case, raising questions about the effectiveness of the litigation. Moreover, the American environmental bar has brought numerous copycat cases in other jurisdictions, indicating that the litigation's success is not deterring future lawsuits.

In a separate development, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on a trio of cases alleging that European states had taken insufficient action to combat climate change. The court ruled against the plaintiffs in two cases but ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the Swiss case, establishing a groundbreaking decision that governments are obligated to enact and implement policies to suppress fossil fuel usage to protect the right to respect for private and family life, as per the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Manhattan Contrarian emphasizes that the courts in Europe seem to have no bounds when it comes to their grasp of their own powers, and the case serves as a reminder of the potential ramifications of climate litigation. The article urges readers to consider the implications of such lawsuits and the potential long-term effects on energy policy, economic stability, and the environment. While the decisions highlight the sweeping powers of the courts, the Manhattan Contrarian underscores the importance of considering the potential unintended consequences of such rulings and the imperative of thoughtful policy-making through democratic processes.

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