The kids and young adults suing the government over climate change haven’t demonstrated that federal officials are responsible for global warming, Trump administration attorneys are arguing.
In a late Friday brief in the case that the federal government is attempting to have dismissed, Justice Department lawyers say that without pinning climate change on the government, the parties cannot pursue their case.
“Plaintiffs have only a generalized grievance and not the required particularized injury because global climate change affects everyone in the world,” the attorneys told the San Francisco-based Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
“They cannot demonstrate causation because climate change stems from a complex, world-spanning web of actions across all fields of human endeavor, and Plaintiffs cannot plausibly connect their narrow asserted injuries — like flooding or drought in their neighborhoods — to any particular conduct by the government,” they continued.
“In addition, Plaintiffs’ alleged injuries are not redressable because a single district judge may not ... seize control of national energy production, energy consumption, and transportation in the ways that would be required to implement Plaintiffs’ demanded remedies.”
The Trump administration attorneys also argue that the Administrative Procedure Act should block the kids’ case and that United States citizens have no constitutional right to a “livable climate.”
The high-profile case, Juliana v. United States, was filed in an Oregon federal court 2015 by a group of teens and young adults, who say the federal government has failed to adequately act against climate change and want the courts to order stronger action.
The Trump administration has taken unprecedented action to stop the case before the court orders depositions and discovery, including twice asking the Supreme Court, unsuccessfully, to intervene.
The Friday briefing was part of an appeal to the circuit court, which has previously refused to block the case.