On Aug. 14, a Montana district court released a groundbreaking decision for climate change activists. In Held v. Montana, the court announced that Montana had violated its citizens’ constitutional right to a “clean and healthful environment” through the state’s fossil fuel-driven energy system.

Climate litigation suits are currently pending in other state court systems and in federal court. Activists will wait with bated breath to see if more judges find a governmental duty to protect citizens from state policies promoting climate change, or if Held, a decision that Montana state officials plan to appeal, was a one-off outcome.

A. E. Dick Howard, A big win for climate activists in Montana offers lessons for Virginians, Richmond Times-Dispatch (August 27, 2023).
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