Public Doctrine Lawsuit Asks For Protection Of Atmosphere As A Public Resource

A recent lawsuit in U.S District Court was filed by a young group of plaintiff and supported by environments who call for federal agencies to protect the atmosphere as a public resource. This includes from excess carbon dioxide to methane and other greenhouse gases. However, before the federal case can proceed on Monday April 2, a judge will hold a hearing to decide who the defendants are.  The courtroom may be an odd place to fight climate change, but campaign organizers say they’ve lost faith in presidential or congressional leadership.  The idea of expanding public trust to the atmosphere is intriguing, but some legal experts have expressed doubt it will work. While past cases applied the concept to water and wildlife, those assets are more predictable and less nebulous than air, which can easily cross state or national borders.  The plaintiffs remain undaunted, arguing this is about setting a precedent — one that would apply in most nations on Earth, since the public trust doctrine has become so widespread in the last 1,400 years.

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Written by Christina Santilli

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