Helping Youth Fight for a Stable Climate


Kids vs. Global Warming joined five individual teenagers and another organization in the landmark federal climate lawsuit premised on the public trust doctrine. The lawsuit sought to require the federal government to immediately implement steps to reduce greenhouse gases in order to avoid warming beyond two degrees Celcius, as proscribed by Dr. James Hansen and other leading international climate scientists. This case, although supported by prominent groups and individuals across the country, was ultimately dismissed but did lay the foundation for the current Atmospheric Trust Litigation. 

Significant Developments

December 8, 2014: Case Update

United States Supreme Court denies plaintiffs' request.

October 3, 2014: Case Update

Plaintiffs file a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.

June 5, 2014: Case Update

The Court of Appeals affirms the district court decision.

October 22, 2013: Case Update

Plaintiffs file brief in support of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia of the district court's decision.

May 31, 2012: Case Update

Court grants the federal government defedants' and fossil fuel intervenors' motion to dismiss.

April 2, 2012: In the News - Huffington Post

Public trust doctrine lawsuit asks for protection of atmosphere as a public resource.

December 9, 2011: In the News - Grist

The young and the restless: Kids sue government over climate change.

December 7, 2011: Case Update

22 law professors file an amicus brief in support of youth and the public trust doctrine.

December 7, 2011: Case Update

Case is transferred to D.C. because of its national significance and for the convenience of the federal government.

November 3, 2011: In the News - Outside Magazine

Why is 17-year-old Alec Loorz suing the government over global warming?

September 28, 2011: Case Update

Plaintiffs file for a preliminary injunction to compel immediate government action on climate change.

July 27, 2011: Case Update

Plaintiffs file an amended complaint.

May 5, 2011: In the News - The Guardian

Why one 16-year-old is suing the US government over climate change.

May 4, 2011: Case Update

Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Department of Interior, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Commerce, the United States Department of Energy, and the United States Department of Defense.


Kids vs. Global Warming


Philip L. Gregory, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP

Julia Olson, Wild Earth Advocates

Focus Area

Energy and Climate