OUR CHILDREN'S TRUST ("OCT") is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization leading the global effort to elevate the voice of youth to secure the binding legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate.  OCT supports climate advocates and related organizations, volunteer and reduced-fee legal counsel in the U.S. and around the globe, legal actions seeking country-specific and statewide science-based Climate Recover Plans, and returning atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to below 350 ppm by the year 2100. 


  Raging Grannies Eugene


"The heart of the OREGON STATE case on appeal:
1. The Public Trust Doctrine:  the idea being: the air, running water, the sea, and consequently beaches and the seashore belong to us all  They are for the people and are not to be harmed these essential natural resources are held for us (the people) by our governments "in trust "our state and federal governments owe us (the people) a duty to not harm or destroy these natural resources our governments are under a further duty to ensure that these natural resources survive from generation to generation. So, they in fact owe a duty to people not yet born.The State of Oregon denies owing plaintiffs this duty and certainly does not think the atmosphere is one of the "natural resources" governments are responsible for holding in trust
2. Best Climate Science: why 350?  The question cannot not be: what rate of emissions reductions are politically must be: what emissions reductions are necessary to protect our health, our lives  The best climate scientists agree that atmospheric CO2 levels above 350 parts/million disallow this planet to balance its energy and will eventually result in an unrecognizable––and largely uninhabitable––planet.  Thus, all recovery plans must be science-based – they must be based on the goal of returning our atmospheric CO2 levels to below 350The State of Oregon does not agree that we need to come up with a climate recovery plan that would return our atmospheric CO2 levels to below 350 ppm"  (from Coreal Riday-White, Our Children's Trust Staff Attorney)


Our Children's Trust supports youth climate advocates, related organizations, and volunteer and reduced-fee legal counsel in the U.S. and around the globe, in legal actions against federal and state governments, seeking science-based Climate Recovery Plans to return atmospheric CO2 concentrations to below 350 parts per million before the year 2100.

Landmark U.S. Federal Climate Lawsuit

With OCT support, youth filed their constitutional climate lawsuit, called Juliana v. U.S., against the U.S. government in 2015. Their complaint asserts that, through the government’s affirmative actions that cause climate change, it has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.

State Legal Actions

Our Children's Trust have launched judicial lawsuits and/or executive branch rulemaking actions across the United States. Each action has progressed differently. Some are now pending, and others are in second phases of development after some action by the court or administrative agency in that particular state.

Youth Taking Local Action

Our YouCAN (Youth Climate Action Now) program trains and supports youth to engage in civic participation within their local communities, advocating for legal protection for the atmosphere in the form of science-based emission reduction targets. Youth participate directly in local government and petition City Councils for locally tailored climate recovery planning, testify in public meetings of City Councils, and advocate at work sessions with local government leaders. 

To support this work or get involved contact Coreal at

For info on the current status of their legal actions visit

From Bloomberg Politics

Salem, Oregon, December 9, 2016:  Raging Grannies standing in front of the Department of State Lands building behind the plaintiff, Kelsey Juliana, 20 from Eugene, Oregon  – supporting her, making clear she is not alone.


When a group of 21 kids sued the federal government a couple of years ago for failing to protect the country’s air, land and water, it didn’t seem likely to get very far.

The case has survived several challenges and in a hearing Monday in San Francisco the group of youths -- now almost all teens -- and the Justice Department argued over whether Americans can claim damaging environmental policy as a violation of their constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. A ruling by a three-judge panel to let the case move toward trial would be the first of its kind by an appeals court and almost certainly be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

The kids from Oregon -- and a group of plaintiffs dubbed “future generations” -- claim the government is legally liable for more than 50 years of policies that have hurt the country’s “climate system.” They say the office of the president and eight federal agencies have promoted regulations to support the U.S. energy industry’s proliferation of fossil fuels, accounting for a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions.

The judge who let the suit proceed in a landmark November 2016 ruling said it was “of a different order than the typical environmental case,” brought under federal laws such as the Clean Water Act or the Clean Air Act.

‘Life and Liberty’

“It alleges that defendants’ actions and inactions -- whether or not they violate any specific statutory duty -- have so profoundly damaged our home planet that they threaten plaintiffs’ fundamental constitutional rights to life and liberty,” U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken wrote.

That was a “novel and unusual decision” that immediately raised the stakes in the case, said Michael Gerrard, a professor of environmental law at Columbia Law School.

Justice Department attorneys argue the teens are calling for unreasonable changes to federal policy based on “utterly unprecedented legal theories” and “unbounded” research into the executive reaching back to the Lyndon Johnson presidency.

The suit was filed in August 2015 when Barack Obama was president, under an administration that could point to having brokered a global carbon emissions reduction deal in Paris with more than 180 nations and a domestic Clean Power Plan that called for less coal consumption and more use of renewable energy.

America First

The current administration has taken a different approach, stating its intention to withdraw from the Paris accord, among other regressive climate postures. The suit threatens Donald Trump’s “America First” ambitions of re-establishing the coal industry and expanding offshore drilling, among other things.

The panel of judges that heard the arguments is made up of two Bill Clinton appointees and one Ronald Reagan appointee. 

A win for the teens before the U.S. Court of Appeals could prompt the government to seek the U.S. Supreme Court’s review, while an outright dismissal may mark its end because of the top court’s “current composition,” Gerrard said, referring to the court’s conservative majority. The appeals court also may send the case back to the lower court for further review.

QuickTake: How Partisanship Has Shaded the U.S. Supreme Court

“What it can’t do is shut the courthouse doors to the real constitutional injuries brought by these young people,” said the teens’ attorney, Julia Olson. “We believe the Ninth Circuit will be the bulwark against their dodge and evade tactics.”

Should the case move toward trial, the Justice Department may have trouble recruiting credible scientists to testify on their behalf. In May, a pair of government attorneys met with Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, to gauge his interest in leading a team of researchers to testify on behalf of the government. Caldeira declined, pointing to the administration’s problems with trust and credibility.

“I had a good impression of the lawyers; they said their goal was to provide the best available scientific evidence,” Caldeira said in an interview. “But my name being associated may give credibility to their case, and with this administration there’s a concern about being edited and taken out of context.”

Trump, a real estate developer and former reality television star, has called climate change a hoax. Still, the central question of the litigation isn’t whether climate change is real, but whether the U.S. government has for decades violated the constitution by willfully allowing harm to the environment.

Carbon Emissions

The kids have asked for a court order directing Trump’s office to prepare a consumption report on U.S. carbon emissions, along with a remediation plan to phase out the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Olson, the kids’ attorney, argues the damage that’s occurred in the past 50 years is already irreversible and the teens are just hoping to prevent a bad situation from getting worse. She has made similar claims in state courts, with some success.

In Washington state, a court ruled in November 2015 that youth plaintiffs’ “very survival depends upon the will of their elders to act now,” ultimately ordering the state’s Department of Ecology to adopt a rule to limit emissions. In Massachusetts, litigation prompted Governor Charles Baker to issue a proclamation that requires the state to prepare a comprehensive energy plan before August 2018.

The lower court case is Juliana v. U.S.A., 15-cv-01517, U.S. District Court, District of Oregon (Eugene).




The  state case, involving the State of Oregon

as defendants and plaintiffs who live in Oregon

(not to be confused with the case venued in Eugene before Judge Aiken,

which is a federal case, involving the federal government

as defendants and plaintiffs who live across the country.)

December 11, 2017, 2:00 AM PST

Ambitious Climate Suit Pitting Teens Against Trump Faces Test

By Kartikay Mehrotra

Group of 21 kids and Justice Department to argue sides Monday

3-judge appeals panel to decide if case goes to jury trial


“Exercising my ‘reasoned judgment,’ I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.” –U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken

On November 10, 2016 Judge Ann Aiken issued an opinion and order denying the U.S. government and fossil fuel industry’s motions to dismiss a constitutional climate change lawsuit filed by 21 youth. The decision means that the youth, age 9 to 20 and from all over the U.S., now have standing because their rights are at stake, and now their case is headed to trial.  Link - original article: