14 Hawaii youths have won a lawsuit against the Department of Transport for not doing enough to curb emissions that are contributing to climate change.

A climate change lawsuit brought by a group of Hawaii’s youth against the state Department of Transportation is moving ahead. It’s now scheduled for a fall trial.

A Circuit Court judge ruled Thursday in favour of a lawsuit by 14 Hawaii youth claiming the DOT is not doing enough to curb emissions that are contributing to climate change. Environmental Judge Jeff Crabtree rejected the state’s motion to dismiss the suit, saying young people are entitled to have their constitutional rights to a safe climate protected.

One of the plaintiffs, 15-year-old Mesina R., says youth stand to inherit a world with severe climate change and they need the state’s help in creating a safe and livable future here in Hawaiʻi.

“I am so happy right now. When I got the news, I literally ran around my house screaming,” Mesina said. “I was like, we made it through. We made it through in this movement.”

“We get a lot of pushback, a lot of no’s. And so to get a yes this early in the case relights the, albeit sometimes fading, hope that I have in democracy for solving this crisis,” she said.

Mesina and more than a dozen other youth aged 10 to 20 from Hawaiʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Maui and Kauaʻi, are being represented by Earthjustice attorneys.

“Our future is in jeopardy if we don’t take drastic steps now and that the courts are the way that youth who cannot vote can help push for change,” Mesina said.

The Navahine F. versus Hawaii Department of Transportation case is only the second youth-led climate case trial in U.S. history.

Original source: https://www.hawaiipublicradio.org