Judge Declares Youth Climate Activists CAN Sue Montana, Youth v. Gov, The Climate Daily Crowdfunded Reforestation Campaign!

by | May 15, 2023 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Judge declares youth climate activists CAN sue Montana, plus Youth v. Gov, and The Climate Daily’s crowdfunded reforestation campaign!



A Montana judge on Friday said a climate change lawsuit from young people challenging the state’s pro-fossil fuel policies will proceed to trial despite efforts by officials to derail the case. Attorneys for the 16 young plaintiffs alleged state officials were trying to avoid the upcoming trial when Republican lawmakers in March repealed the state’s energy policy. The plaintiffs and their backers are hoping to use the two-week trial that’s set to start on June 12 to highlight the dangers of fossil fuel emissions that scientists say are making climate change worse.

The case, Held v. Montana, was brought in 2020 by attorneys for the environmental group Our Children’s Trust on behalf of Rikki Held and 15 other Montana youth. Philip Gregory, an attorney for Our Children’s Trust, told The Associated Press the policy was repealed “not because the state has committed to changing its fossil fuel policy and actions, but because the state seeks to avoid standing trial.” He explained in an email that the state’s continued support for fossil fuels violates environmental protections in the Montana Constitution, which says the state “shall maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment in Montana for present and all future generations.”

In response to Montana attorney general’s objections, Judge Seeley said, “I would suggest you continue to prepare for trial. I’m not intending to just stop everything so that we can spend months wrapped around that spoke.” Why does this case matter to us? Our Children’s Trust has filed climate lawsuits in every state on behalf of youth plaintiffs since 2010. Many of the cases — including a previous one in Montana — have been dismissed. None has yet reached trial. So this is historic.

DEEPER DIVE: AP News, YouthvGov, YouTube



So what is Youth v Gov, and why does it matter to us? Youth v. Gov is young people around the world who are suing their governments for actions causing and worsening the climate crisis. Youth v. Gov does what it does through Our Children’s Trust which represents and supports youth, securing their legal right to a safe climate. 

The organization works to protect the Earth’s climate system for present and future generations by representing young people in global legal efforts to secure their binding and enforceable legal rights to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate, based on the best available science. Youth v. Gov, through Our Children’s Trust, has pursued several suits since 2010. In addition to Held v. State of Montana—the suit Jeffrey just talked about, and the first to actually go to trial, OCT has attempted to bring multiple cases to trial. It currently has active cases pending in Florida, Hawaii, Utah and Virginia. 

Youth v. Gov is the world’s only non-profit law firm to exclusively represent young people securing their legal right to a safe climate. It’s more than a legal campaign. It’s a hashtag, and even a film – made by independent, acclaimed filmmaker and scientist Christi Cooper– Check it out on Netflix.

DEEPER DIVE: Held v. Montana, Climate Case Chart, Teen Vogue, Netflix



We’re making progress with our Climate Champions 50/100 reforestation campaign, so we’re keeping it going!


Thank you to the listeners of The Climate Daily who donated to The Climate Champions 50/100 campaign! There’s still work to do to get us to 10,000 trees. That’s why we’re extending the campaign through May to give more of you the chance to become climate champions. What’s a climate champion, you ask? A climate champion proves that a small group of people can make a massive impact on the planet in a short amount of time.  

How? Our company, The Climate, is partnering with over 30 international tree-planting organizations–ALONG WITH our climate champions– to re-plant, and regrow forests all over the world, by planting ten thousand trees at a time. Why? Because science says the best way to combat climate change is to restore nature. And the fastest way to restore nature is to plant and grow a trillion trees by 2030, and the fastest way to do that is to plant ten thousand trees at a time. So, we’re looking for folks to donate $50 or $100 one time, to help us plant 10,000 trees at a time, in one of seven regions around the planet.

(Which our tree planting partners will do. They’re the tree-planting professionals.) 

Please visit www.TheClimate.org, and at the top of the page, click on the words, “Climate Champions.” Then click on the donate button and join our team of climate champions today. Again, visit TheClimate.org, and at the top of the page, click on the words, “Climate Champions.” Click on the donate button and join our team of climate champions today. And if you want to start your own team of climate champions, reach out to us at info@ We’ll help you put together your own small group of climate champions to make a massive impact on the planet in a short amount of time. 

(Planting 10 thousand trees–a 20-acre forest!) 

Wouldn’t it be great to be the change you want to see in the world? Become part of something special. Become a climate champion.  Thank you!!

DEEPER DIVE: 50/100 Campaign, Trillion Tree Project