Our Children’s Trust has been litigating in federal and state court to secure the right to a stable climate and a healthy atmosphere for present and future generations. The approach, based on the public trust doctrine, has had remarkable successes at the state, federal, and global level. At last Saturday’s March for Science in Providence, Nature’s Trust Rhode Island went public with its move to follow suit in Rhode Island.
Article 1, Section 17 of the Rhode Island Constitution lays down the duty of the general assembly to provide for the conservation of the air, land, water. In passing the Resilient Rhode Island Act of 2014, the legislature has recognized, but only barely begun to live up to its constitutional obligations.
The Raimondo administration has thus far not really gotten with the program. Our governor is on record supporting fracked gas:
I am committed to moving ahead with cost-effective, regional energy infrastructure projects – including expansion of natural gas capacity …
Nature’s Trust Rhode Island is a reaction against what we must recognize—given the accelerating destabilization of the climate—as reckless endangerment of life on Earth.
Taking a page out Our Children’s Trust’s book, Nature’s Trust Rhode Island is preparing litigation. Guiding principles of the organization are:
- To give a voice to young people who will be suffering most from the accelerating, global climate crisis caused by the ongoing increase in human-made greenhouse gas emissions.
- To empower youth to be advocates for climate recovery action.
- To advocate on behalf of youth, present and future generations, and those on the front lines of climate change, for a just transition to an economy based on green, renewable energy.
- To create legally-binding policies based on accepted scientific precautionary principles, like doctors committing to “do no harm,” setting targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Nature’s Trust Rhode Island (click to email) is lining up lawyers for the legal work and young people to be plaintiffs and petitioners to secure for all the inherent & inalienable right to a livable climate, essential for “the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.”