The judge makes a historic decision and agrees with the youth who want a clean environment

This violation is committed by licensing fossil fuel extraction without considering its effects on the climate.

Justice Kathy Seeley’s decision is the first of its kind in the United States, but it adds to others around the world that have established the duty of governments to protect citizens from climate change.

The judge ruled that rules the state uses to evaluate license applications from fossil fuel companies — which do not require them to assess the effects of greenhouse gas emissions — are unconstitutional.

In his sentencing, Seeley wrote, “Montana’s emissions and climate change have proven to be a significant factor in creating climate impacts on Montana’s environment and the harm they do to young people.”

However, it is up to the state Congress to decide how to bring the Code into the Constitution. That means, with fossil fuel-friendly Republicans dominating the state legislature, the chances of immediate change are slim.

“This is a huge win for Montana, for young people, for democracy and for our climate,” youth advocate Julia Olsen said in a statement.

Olson is also a director of Our Children’s Foundation, an Oregon-based environmental group that has filed similar complaints in every US state since 2011.

In his speech, he said, “As wildfires fueled by fossil fuel pollution spread across the West, today’s decision in Montana is a turning point in this generation’s efforts to combat the devastating effects of climate chaos.”

Emily Flower, a spokeswoman for Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, called the ruling “absurd” and criticized the judge and announced the office would appeal.

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Lawyers for the 16 plaintiffs, aged between five and 22, presented evidence during the two-week trial that rising carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are causing increased temperatures, droughts and reduced fire and snow cover.

These changes are harmful to people’s physical and mental health, especially young people, according to experts heard in court.

State representatives argued that even if Montana stopped producing CO2 completely, it would have no global effect because there are other states and countries that emit CO2 into the atmosphere.

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