State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Montana Young People Have Won a Key Climate Case. What That Means—So Far.

(Photo: Kevin Krajick/Earth Institute)

On August 14, a state judge issued a landmark ruling in favor of young Montana climate activists in the Held v. State of Montana case. The plaintiffs claimed that the state violated their right to a clean and healthful environment under Montana’s constitution. District Court judge Kathy Seeley declared that a state law violated this right by stopping agencies from considering climate impacts when conducting environmental reviews. This is the first constitutional climate trial in the United States, confronting a state’s responsibility for climate change.

Experts at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, an affiliate of the Columbia Climate School, have been following the case closely since its inception. The case summary and key documents can be viewed in the center’s climate change litigation database; executive director Michael Burger recently wrote a lay explanation of the case. This month, the center also issued a new report that explores trends and prospects in climate litigation around the world.

Below, some of of the extensive media coverage quoting Sabin Center experts.  This list originally appeared on center’s website, and will be kept updated there.


Michael Gerrard, Sabin Center faculty director and professor of climate, Columbia Climate School

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