Could 16 Kids Sue Montana Due To Climate Change? Pt.1


We Montanans are lucky to live in such a beautiful environment that is full of wildlife, clean water and air, and a forest to escape to — but it is also up to us to keep it beautiful. As the world changes, and the climate changes through time, Montana’s environment will also change. Montana is a unique state because it is one of the few states that have environmental rights outlined in the state’s constitution. That means the state constitution will recognize and protect the rights of all people (which includes future generations), and promises pure water, clean air, a stable climate and an overall healthy environment. 

Montana has an energy policy that is “to promote energy efficiency, conservation, production and consumption of a reliable and efficient mix of energy sources.” Recently this energy policy has caused 16 young plaintiffs to sue Montana, this is due to the state’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels which speeds up climate change. Due to the heavy use of fossil fuels the energy policy has been infringed upon. The promise to keep Montana’s environment clean and healthy cannot be true with a heavy dependence on fossil fuels that is increasing climate change. The fist complaint was made in March 2020, and has gone through multiple phases. In August of 2021 the State filed to have the case dismissed which was then denied by the judge. After that is allowed the case to move to trial and was marked as the first lawsuit of its kind in the United States. It may not be believable that adolescents could be a part of a lawsuit that has to do with suing their state, but the truth of this case is that the climate crisis will affect young adults more than anyone. The climate crisis will affect young plaintiffs’ psychological and physical health and safety. Lawsuits related to climate change have been more in recent years and it is one way youth can hold the government accountable for their environment and what they’ll be left with in the future. 

In the upcoming future we will be making a part 2 report of this trial and will hopefully have the opportunity to be able to interview Mica Kantor who is one the youths involved in this case.