An organization based in Oregon called Our Children’s Trust supports minors using judicial and legislative systems to stop climate change. One such teen lives in North Carolina.
Hallie Turner, along with NC teens Emily Liu and Arya Pontula, is in the midst of her second petition to the NC Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Management Commission. The petition consists of a rule requiring a decrease in greenhouse gases in the next 30 years until the state is producing no carbon dioxide emissions.
Four years ago, Turner attempted to petition the Commission to create a rule requiring NC to decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 4% each year. She went to court over it when the Commission rejected the petition. Unfortunately, she lost the case.
The Bigger Picture
Our Children’s Trust is involved in a federal case called Juliana v. U.S. where several youths are suing the federal government about the violation of the rights to life, liberty, and property through legislation leading to climate change. A magistrate judge and a district judge have agreed that the case should be tried after the federal government made a motion to dismiss the case. In February 2018, the trial will begin.
Slow But Steady Wins the Race
Such a process is a slow one. The teens involved in the Juliana v. U.S. case began their lawsuit in 2015. Turner’s 2015 case against the Commission lasted almost a year just to determine if the Commission rightly rejected Turner’s petition. However, Turner’s second petition illustrates the minors involved in Our Children’s Trust are more than willing to use the judicial process to create change.
Turner’s petition is more extreme this time around. Perhaps the feelings of the Environmental Management Commission changed in two years. If not, these plucky teens generate publicity about environmental issues affecting their future.