Project Report:
Atmospheric Trust Campaign
- Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.


We support legal actions and public education to secure the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate system at the federal, state and global domestic levels. See supplemental section for a description of specific actions.

Navahine v. Hawai‘i DOT Youth Rally!
In April 2023 the judge ruled that the 14 youth plaintiffs should head to trial. Navahine becomes the second constitutional climate trial, and second youth-led climate trial, in United States history. Trial begins June 24, 2024.


Our Children’s Trust (OCT) was founded in 2010 on the idea that courts are vital to democracy and empowered to protect our children and the planet. Without a stable climate system, every natural resource we rely upon to exercise our basic human rights—life, liberty, home, happiness—is under threat. Our work will be achieved when there is universal recognition of children’s climate rights by courts around the world and children’s fundamental rights to life on this planet are protected.

We are the only not-for-profit organization representing children in holding their governments accountable to their generation, and future generations, for the climate crisis. We work in courts (state, national, regional, and international) to present evidence relating to how our youth clients are disproportionately impacted by climate change, seeking judicially enforceable and systemic remedies supported by science and designed to protect the fundamental rights of children. We partner with world-renowned experts who understand how to best to protect children and transition to a low-carbon and resilient future that puts children first.

Our goals were two-fold in 2023. #1: To establish the constitutional standard to a safe and stable climate under state and federal constitutions. We seek legally binding judicial declarations that will return atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to below 350 parts per million (ppm), now known as the 350-ppm standard, by the year 2100: the scientific prescription for a safe climate defined by the planetary boundaries for Earth. #2: To ensure that children's voices are heard. We work to give agency to children around the world to have the opportunity to take the stand in a court of law to tell a judge how climate change is harming them, their health, their homes, and their lives. We aim to give each young person the opportunity to take the oath to tell the truth, tell their story, and really be heard for the first time by those in power.


We are investigating and addressing a major cause of economic imbalance: the climate.

Presently, society does not accurately price the damages that stem from climate destabilizing activities and products. Present and future harms that come from such activities and products are not factored into their pricing, resulting in major economic imbalances today and in the future.

Additionally, we are exploring and advocating for market approaches that will promote a sustainable economy and economic balance relating to ecosystem services, climate change, energy security, food production and other environmental issues.

Economic imbalances that favor carbon intensive goods and services and perpetuate environmental degradation continue to dominate our economy. Our work will lead to court orders that require governments to realign those imbalances toward a sustainable economy, in accordance with scientific prescriptions to stabilize our climate system and de-acidify our oceans.

In 2023, demonstrating the impact of Our Children's Trust groundbreaking legal work, in Hawai‘i Electric Light Company, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court recognized the right to a life-sustaining climate system, and a concurring opinion adopted the 350 ppm scientific standard to protect climate rights. Justice Wilson wrote, “The effects of failing to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to below 350 ppm will lead to ‘social, political and economic chaos, and in that chaos[,] the rule of law cannot survive.’”


A legal strategy against the U.S. government is essential to solving the climate crisis, as the U.S. is responsible for about 25% of the cumulative global GHG emissions that are driving climate change. Not only does the U.S. consume extraordinary amounts of fossil fuels, but the U.S. is also the world’s top producer and exporter of natural gas and oil, far surpassing countries including Russia, Saudi Arabia, and China. For over half a century, the U.S. federal government has understood and studied the dangers climate change poses to its citizens and residents, but it continues to willfully perpetuate its fossil fuel-based energy policies, both in the U.S. and around the world.

Children are politically and economically powerless in our constitutional democracy and cannot meaningfully participate in and influence the policy decisions that cause the climate crisis, discriminate against them, and irreversibly harm them for the remainder of their lives. For 18 years of their lives while climate pollution grows, they simply have no vote—the most important right of citizenship that helps preserve all other rights. Children are also still developing physically, mentally, and emotionally and remain dependent on their caregivers. The harms they suffer in childhood have lifelong implications for their health and the opportunity for an open future. Their longevity and length of time they will live in a climate-destabilized world adds to the injuries they bring to the court.

We have two active federal cases – Juliana v. United States and Genesis v. United States Environmental Protection Agency. We will litigate these cases in the federal courts to secure for youth constitutional protection to a stable climate throughout the United States.

The 21 youth plaintiffs in Juliana v. U.S., along with Dr. James Hansen (as the Guardian for future generations) are the equivalent of citizen whistleblowers on the government’s fossil fuel energy system. Their resilience—and ours—to proceed to trial since 2015 has continued unabated.

In March, U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken denied the request of 18 Republican Attorneys General to intervene as defendants in Juliana. We began June with a long-awaited decision from Judge Aiken, who ruled that the amended complaint filed in Juliana could once again proceed to trial. Soon after news of the ruling made waves, several members of U.S. Congress issued statements of support and solidarity with the youth plaintiffs.

Throughout the summer, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed several motions to have the Juliana case dismissed or the trial delayed. In solidarity, young people joined Juliana youth plaintiffs in urging Congress to protect their constitutional rights and recognize the disproportionate harms of the climate crisis on their generation. We joined youth meeting days co-hosted by the Rachel Carson Council, Schools for Climate Action, and Zero Hour. Simultaneously, U.S. Senator Merkley and Congresswomen Schakowsky and Jayapal reintroduced the Children’s Fundamental Rights and Climate Recovery resolution with 97 U.S. Congressional supporters and 150 organizational endorsers (S.Con.Res.13, H.Con.Res.56) to recognize children’s fundamental rights and the need for climate recovery planning.

In July People vs. Fossil Fuels—a coalition of 1,200+ climate justice, Indigenous, Black, Latino, social justice, economic justice, progressive, youth, faith, and other organizations—delivered a petition to the DOJ. Representing 255+ organizational sponsors and 50,500+ individuals, the petitioners demanded that the DOJ and Attorney General Merrick Garland end their opposition to Juliana proceeding to trial. John Beard Jr., Founder, President and Executive Director of Port Arthur Community Action Network, and Zanagee Artis, Founder and Executive Director of Zero Hour delivered the petition on behalf of the coalition. Both Beard and Artis are featured in the February 2024 newsletter.

December ended with a powerful opinion from Judge Aiken denying the federal defendants’ motions and granted plaintiffs’ motion to set a pretrial status conference and a trial date. Judge Aiken allowed plaintiffs’ case to proceed to trial on their 5th Amendment substantive due process claims including the right to life and liberty, the right to a climate system that sustains life, the right to be free from state-created danger, and the right to the protection of public trust resources. Judge Aiken wrote: “This catastrophe is the great emergency of our time and compels urgent action. As this lawsuit demonstrates, young people—too young to vote and effect change through the political process— are exercising the institutional procedure available to plead with their government to change course.” The District Court intends to carry out its solemn constitutional and democratic task: “The judiciary is capable and duty-bound to provide redress for the irreparable harm government fossil fuel promotion has caused.”

In January 2024, the DOJ asked for an extension to file their answer to the amended complaint stating that they needed more time given new developments in climate science that may affect their answers to allegations in the complaint. The next day, the plaintiffs filed an opposition to the defendants’ motion for an extension because the DOJ failed to disclose whether they intended to use the additional time to prepare a stay. At the scheduling conference the DOJ communicated its intent to file both a petition for Writ of Mandamus and a Motion to Stay. Elizabeth Prelogar, U.S. Solicitor General, authorized the DOJ to file a Petition for Writ of Mandamus, and the DOJ filed a new Motion to Stay the case with Judge Aiken, pending their petition to the Ninth Circuit. The government is arguing that it is being “irreparably harmed” by having to spend time/funds needed preparing for trial; this is their only argument of irreparable harm, and an element needed to win their Motion for a Stay. Completely disregarding how the climate crisis has deepened since the case was filed, the DOJ argues that “Nothing has changed since this case was filed that would now require the Court to Proceed urgently toward trial.”

We began February 2024 with a response to the DOJ’s Motion to Stay the case, securing declarations from plaintiffs and experts. We are developing our Amicus strategy and researching Mandamus cases in all circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court since we last filed. Out of 40,000+ cases in front of the DOJ, these legal tactics are employed in only one case, Juliana. We also filed a Motion to Strike and opposed the DOJ’s Motion to Stay given the fact that the Ninth Circuit has already ruled that a stay in unwarranted.

Joseph E. Stiglitz, Professor, Columbia University & Chief Economist and Senior Fellow, The Roosevelt Institute who noted that: "The cost of delay to these young plaintiffs and the public interest is enormously high. Delay equates to more climate damage, particularly for young people. Delay creates not only economic costs, but great uncertainty. The federal government has spent taxpayer money taking the case to the appellate courts, rather than allowing it to go to trial. In economic terms, this case should be decided at trial without further delay."

While we await a ruling from the Ninth Circuit, The People vs Fossil Fuels coalition and ACE are leading a national campaign, “Act Now to #SaveJuliana” with one goal: to tell the Biden administration and the DOJ to reverse course and move Juliana to trial. At trial, the youth plaintiffs will have the opportunity to testify in court, after which Judge Aiken will rule whether the U.S. energy system violates the youth’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, and equal protection of the laws. See

In December 2023, OCT filed a federal constitutional climate lawsuit on behalf of 18 children in California. The plaintiffs in Genesis v. United States Environmental Protection Agency are suffering from climate harms that are growing in the Western U.S., including loss of homes from wildfires, damage from floods, and evacuations from life-threatening climate change-induced incidents. In the lawsuit, the young plaintiffs argue that for decades, the EPA has intentionally allowed life-threatening climate pollution to be emitted by the fossil fuel sources of greenhouse gases it regulates, despite knowing the harm it causes to children’s health and welfare, as well as discriminating against them as children by devaluing their lives and their future when it decides whether and how much climate pollution to allow. The 18 children are asking the federal court to hold a trial, weigh the evidence, and ultimately issue a declaratory judgment that the EPA has violated their fundamental constitutional rights to life and equal protection of the law.

We developed this case against the federal government, to specifically focus on securing the rights of equal protection of the law for children, who deserve special consideration from the courts when the political branches of government acts in ways that harm them and impose a lifetime of burdens. We are working closely with leading children’s rights scholar, Professor Catherine Smith, who has synthesized the equal protection analysis for children that the Supreme Court has been implicitly using for decades, which we seek to make explicit in this case. The Civil Rights Clinic at UC Irvine, with Paul Hoffman and John Washington, are local co-counsel on the case.

In litigating this case, we are working with constitutional law scholars, in close consultation with reproductive rights experts, to develop an historical analysis of the right to life under the 5th Amendment, which includes protection of health, longevity, and the experience of living. We incorporate the best medical and scientific evidence on climate injuries to children in this case, which include asthma and allergies, destroyed homes, physical harm from heat, mental health harm, lost education, recreation, and cultural and religious practices.

The Genesis case differs from Juliana in that it is singularly focused on the actions of the EPA in harming and discriminating against children with respect to how it controls air pollution; the Juliana case addresses the conduct of 12 federal agencies in affirmatively creating and perpetuating the national fossil fuel energy system. Also, the Genesis case is asking the Court to find that Children should be a protected class under equal protection jurisprudence. The youth plaintiffs in Genesis all reside in California -- the largest state in the nation, and with the worst air quality. California also has more children harmed by fire, smoke, and heat than any other state. Children in California experience more lost school days, more hospital visits, and more destroyed homes because of what is happening to the climate than in any other part of the country.

The case has been assigned to Judge Michael Fitzgerald. The same DOJ attorneys defending Juliana have noticed their appearance. In March the DOJ will file their motion to dismiss. We are preparing to oppose their motion to dismiss the case, defendants will reply, and April will end with an oral argument. Plaintiffs are seeking a speedy trial.

Citizens in all 50 states have rights beyond those in the United States Constitution guaranteed by their state constitution and interpreted by state courts. Throughout history, state courts have been sources of innovation. Many of the rights we cherish were pioneered in state courts. Ninety-five percent of all cases are heard in state courts, and state judges have the final say in most decisions. All 50 state constitutions and the federal constitution protect the rights to life, health or safety and these basic rights cannot be realized without the foundational right to a stable climate. Thirty-eight states have environmental provisions in their constitutions– six declare a right to a healthful environment and other states’ constitutions cover how environmental and natural resources are to be governed. In 2023 we advanced four state cases: Hawai`i, Montana, Utah, and Virginia.

In June 2022, 14 youth from Hawai`I between the ages of 9-18, including nine Native Hawaiians, filed a constitutional climate change case, Navahine F. v. Hawai`i Department of Transportation (DOT), along with the state and Governor for establishing a transportation system that harms the youth’s ability to live healthful lives in Hawai‘I now and into the future in violation of the constitutional public trust doctrine, and the constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment, which includes a right to a life-sustaining climate system.

This is the world’s first constitutional climate change case exclusively focused on stopping climate pollution from transportation systems. Emissions from the transportation sector are a major and increasing contributor to Hawai‘i’s greenhouse gas emissions, expected to comprise nearly 60% of Hawai‘i’s total emissions by 2030. Defendants are not only failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the state transportation system, but are, indeed, heading in the opposite direction, without any plan or prospect for meeting its own GHG emission goals to achieve zero emissions no later than 2045 and to decarbonize all sectors, including transportation. During 2023, in the first court hearing in January we argued why the case should move forward to trial. In April, Judge Jeffrey P. Crabtree denied the state of Hawaii’s motion to dismiss the case, and secured trial dates. Efforts to mediate have failed. Ten expert reports were submitted including Michael Replogle co-founder, Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport Foundation that details how DOT's plans, programs, and practices have exacerbated and, absent a fundamental and urgent shift in direction, will continue to exacerbate the high levels of GHG emissions from the state's transportation system which is 55% of the state's budget.

We submitted our expert reports, depositions are underway, defendants will provide their expert reports in March, and rebuttal expert reports will follow in April. Trial logistics and preparation for a three-week trial to begin on June 24 in Honolulu, in what will be the second-ever constitutional climate trial in U.S. history.

"I think this is the strongest decision on climate change ever issued by any court. After a trial where climate scientists testified under oath and were subject to cross examination (very rare in itself), the court issued a 103-page decision that found that fossil fuel use is the principal cause of climate change, which in turn is causing serious health and environmental impacts that will continue to get worse. The court found that renewables (wind, solar, hydro) can economically substitute for fossil fuels; that the youth plaintiffs have a right to a stable climate system under the right to a clean environment in the state constitution; and that the state law barring consideration of climate in impact assessment is unconstitutional.” – Michael Gerrard, Executive Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Litigation on X

From June 12 to 20, the world watched as the first-ever constitutional climate trial in. U.S. history commenced in Helena, Montana. In Held v. State of Montana, 16 Montana youth turned to the courts to protect their equal rights to a healthy environment, life, dignity, and freedom, suing the State of Montana to protect their state constitutional right to a “clean and healthful environment” as well as air, waters, wildlife and public lands that are threatened by drought, heat, fires, smoke, and floods. The youth also asked the court to enforce their rights to life, liberty, health safety, individual dignity, and equality under the Montana Constitution, and declare that Montana's fossil fuel energy policies and actions violate the young people’s state constitutional rights.

Our legal team – alongside co-counsel from the Western Environmental Law Center and McGarvey Law presented a powerful case to Judge Kathy Seeley, while Montanans watched inside the courtroom and people across the state and around the world watched online. The plaintiffs took the stand to tell the court how they have each been harmed by the actions of their own government. Ten experts – all the very best in their fields – presented clear and precise evidence that documented the anthropogenic roots of the climate crisis, exact causes and impacts stemming from Montana’s perpetuation of a fossil fuel-based energy system, and how these harms devastate Montana’s natural resources and the health of its children. Testimony also laid bare the scientific evidence of how the climate crisis harms young Montanans, the macro and micro economic impacts of continuing “business as usual,” and the corresponding dramatic benefits of already feasible transitions to renewable energy.

The State of Montana called very few witnesses, deciding at the last minute not to call their primary expert witness on climate science (who was expected to present a case rooted in climate denialism), and instead presented limited evidence arguing a lack of responsibility and claims of minimal climate impact due to state’s actions.

Every day, when our youth plaintiffs walked up the hill to court, they were greeted and cheered on by a corridor of supporters who also packed the courtroom each day. Over 20 organizations – climate, environmental, human rights, social justice, and youth – from across the state are our steadfast partners, raising awareness, hosting events, and raising funds. Every day, the media filed in and filled the jury box; their stories reached over 12 million viewers during June. Cameras filled the courtroom, and the proceedings were broadcast around the globe.

In July we submitted our 141-page Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law to Judge Seeley for consideration. And on August 14, for the first time in United States history, a court ruled on the merits of Held that the government violated the constitutional rights of children through laws and actions that promote fossil fuels, ignore climate change, and disproportionately imperil young people.

As a result of Judge Seeley’s landmark ruling, the State must now consider climate change and GHG emissions when deciding whether to permit any more fossil fuel activities and must deny permits if necessary to protect plaintiffs’ constitutional rights. Since the ruling, the parties have cooperated on fast-tracking the case for appeal, given the pressing constitutional issues of statewide importance presented in the case. In October, the Montana Supreme Court officially accepted the case for appeal. In January 2024, the Montana Supreme Court denied a request by the State of Montana to stay the ruling until while the merits of the case are briefed, argued, and considered on appeal by the Supreme Court. The State must continue to comply with Judge Seeley’s order.

We have reviewed the defendants’ opening briefs, and we are preparing our answer brief for mid-March. Amicus briefs will be filed by a wide-range of individuals and organizations in support of our youth plaintiffs inclusive of the economic impact of climate change on the state's economy.

We expect to argue the case before the Supreme Court in Spring 2024. Our goal is to secure an authoritative ruling from the Montana Supreme Court which finds that have proven standing, vindicates plaintiffs’ constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment (as well as the other implicated constitutional rights), and which permanently enjoins defendants from ignoring the impacts of greenhouse gases and climate change during environmental reviews. Another goal of the appeal is to get the Supreme Court to affirm Judge Seeley’s reasoning that Montana’s environmental agencies have the discretion, and indeed the constitutional obligation, to deny permits for fossil fuel activities when the environmental analysis reveals that the project’s greenhouse gas emissions and contribution to climate change would contribute to unconstitutional degradation of Montana’s environment and/or further constitutional injury to Montana’s youth.

Natalie R. v. State of Utah was filed in 2022 on behalf of seven young people in Utah who argue that their state is actively contributing to the climate crisis in violation of their constitutional rights. We began 2023 by appealing Judge Robert Frost’s November 2022 ruling. In March the Utah Supreme Court, in a rare move reserved for cases of legal importance, used their discretion to retain the appeal of our case. We continued to make legal headway in our Utah case–with the help of Deiss Law, our co-counsel. In September, our youth plaintiffs submitted their opening brief to the Utah Supreme Court, explaining why the young Utahan’s constitutional climate case for breathable air and climate justice in the state should proceed to trial. In the brief, the youth show that Utah laws that require the state to maximize fossil fuel development are causing the state’s climate and air quality crises, harming the health and safety of the youth, and taking years off their lives in violation of their rights to life and liberty under Utah's Constitution. The outpouring of support that our Utah youth plaintiffs received from our community was felt when 37 legal scholars from 25 law schools, and several organizations, including human rights advocates, children’s rights supporters, medical experts and pediatricians filed amicus briefs backing their case.

We are reviewing the state’s February 2024 reply brief. We look forward to scheduling a date for our hearing this year.

This case began in 2022 and in March 2023, we submitted our opening appeal brief in Layla H. v. Commonwealth of Virginia, on behalf of the 12 youth plaintiffs who argue that their state’s historic and ongoing permitting of fossil fuels is causing and contributing to the climate crisis and violating their constitutional rights. Leading legal scholars and medical professionals filed Amicus briefs in support of the youth’s appeal, which was submitted in response to a September 2022 ruling from Judge Jenkins Jr. to dismiss the case.

We are preparing for an oral argument on March 12th in the Ceremonial Court Room in the Virginia Court of Appeals. Following the argument, we will hold an intergenerational community event for climate justice with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network; Green Action! (a student-led organization at Virginia Commonwealth University); Third Act Virginia; Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action; York River Group of the Virginia Sierra Club; and some of our plaintiffs.

Our global program is working to ensure that courts around the world use best available science in making decisions about the future of humanity. The importance of the dual analysis of law and science cannot be overstated. Courts have borne witness to many moments in legal history when questionable scientific evidence has contaminated legal processes and seriously harmed the innocent. As our submissions to the world’s highest courts make clear, judicial guidance grounded in non-science-based climate targets would harm billions, prevent the full and free exercise of rights, and nullify the timeless principle that for every wrong there is an effective remedy. Simply put, in the context of the climate emergency, law and science the inseparable bookends of climate rights, obligations, redress, and justice.

Our Children’s Trust continued to represent, support, and inspire youth and attorneys around the world who develop and advance legal actions to protect children’s right to a safe climate. Our team supported active litigation in three countries outside of the U.S.—Canada, Mexico, and Uganda. Two cases were elevated to Mexico’s highest court, the Supreme Court of Justice in the Nation, and the Federal Court of Appeals in Canada unanimously ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the constitutional climate lawsuit permitting the plaintiffs to proceed to trial.

Over the past 14-months we submitted recommendations to the Grand Chamber at the European Court of Human Rights, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. In February 2024 we will also submit recommendations to the International Court of Justice. It is critically important that these courts ground their legal decisions on the best available science.

Our Children’s Trust was invited to submit a Third Party Interventions to the Grand Chamber in the European Court of Human Rights in their first ever climate-related cases: Verein KlimaSeniorinnen Schweiz v. Switzerland, Duarte Agostinho v. Portugal, and Carême v. France. These briefs highlighted key scientific evidence necessary for the Court to consider in assessing the relationship between government responsibility for climate change and the violation of human rights. We were joined by three leading global climate and human rights organizations: Oxfam, Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge, and Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria. In March, the 17 justices in the Grand Chamber at the European Court of Human Rights heard their first climate cases back-to-back: KlimaSeniorinnen v. Switzerland, and Carême v. France. In conjunction with the hearing, we also published an article in Strasbourg Observers underscoring the importance of best available science in global climate litigation.

Our Children’s Trust submitted recommendations to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child on its draft authoritative guidance for the 196 nations that have ratified the Convention of the Rights of the Child. We provided concrete recommendations in all seven priority areas, emphasizing the importance of climate science in setting climate action targets to address the defining child rights challenges of this century.

Youth climate leaders, child rights movement advocates, and UN Commissioners serving on the Committee on the Rights of the Child attended the 40th Anniversary of Child Rights Connect in Geneva, Switzerland. Kalalapa, a Hawai’ian plaintiff, traveled internationally for the first time to share her story, calling for urgent action to the climate crisis. Her words, alongside those of her peers, will inform on-going advocacy and potential global responses to the challenges being faced by the child rights movement.

Twenty-four young people — representing six U.S. states and six Canadian provinces — together with Our Children’s Trust and Oxfam, submitted an Amicus brief to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. This is the first international court to determine what governments are required to do to tackle the climate emergency, and our brief emphasized how important it is for the Tribunal to rely on the best available science when interpreting the governments’ obligations. See the December newsletter for a profile on our partner Oxfam.

Finally we submitted an Amicus brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) in collaboration with the University Network for Human Rights and Defense Ambiental del Noroeste in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our brief responds to the request for an advisory opinion by the governments of Colombia and Chile in January 2023, which asked the Court to clarify the scope of countries’ obligations to address the climate emergency’s impact on persons, nature, and survival on Earth. On behalf of 21 youth and 18 pediatric associations representing over one million medical professionals, our brief outlines the special obligations countries must undertake to address the climate emergency according to international human rights standards.

Information Dissemination

As a public interest organization on the front lines, Our Children's Trust is committed to fighting for our freedoms both in and out of courts. We share our legal and scientific expertise with the public through our website, blog, social media, and newsletter. We recorded history, and a Held v. State of Montana website will give the public a 360 degree look at 2023’s most important trial: meet the plaintiffs like never before with detailed interviews in print and video, access key court documents from pleadings to final rulings, read every word of cutting edge reports by the world’s leading scientists, and hear every line of testimony from every witness; be in Helena for the most exciting moments of 16 young people taking on one of the county’s biggest polluters. OCT will bring the court room to classrooms across the world through this critical educational tool.

In 2023, Our Children’s Trust engaged 20,000+ people from concerned communities around the world when our staff presented at a total of 80 conferences, community gatherings, and schools, and partner organization and supporters attended court hearings and trial. OCT secured media coverage in major TV, radio, and print outlets with over 500 pieces of positive news coverage, many of which were syndicated to additional outlets around the world in over ten languages, with over 46.6 million views. Over 35 press releases were issued. OCT empowered 58,000+ followers on social media across key platforms and our unique content was viewed over 1.3 million times and had over 78,000 unique engagements. OCT educated the next generation of climate advocates by having 20 law clerks from 12 different law schools and 9 government affairs interns from 8 universities.

Our Children’s Trust launched a 10-part series with Open Global Rights, an independent platform that is housed at and supported by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and the Future of Rights Program at New York University School of Law. The series, “Overturning 1.5°C: Calling for the Science Turn in Rights-Based Climate Litigation” is written in collaboration with climate experts, litigators, scholars, and leaders around the globe to inform and educate the public on the fallacy of 1.5°C as a “safe” benchmark to cease global warming and prevent further human-induced climate change tragedies. We also released a bibliography of curated scholarly articles that explain the importance of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations from current levels, which are upwards of 420 parts per million to (ppm) to below 350 ppm, the universally accepted threshold for sustaining life on earth, no later than 2100 to reverse catastrophic climate change and protect fundamental human rights.

Finally, OCT issued its first Impact Report and its community of supporters responded generously doubling their financial support in 2023.

Amount Approved
$100,000.00 on 6/8/2023 (Check sent: 6/21/2023)

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Our Children's Trust  

Genesis v U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Eighteen children under 18 are asking a federal court to hold a trial, weigh the evidence, and ultimately issue a declaratory judgment that the EPA has violated their fundamental constitutional rights to life and equal protection of the law.

Held v. State of Montana: Walking to Courtroom
On the first day of Held v. State of Montana plaintiffs walk to courtroom from downtown Helena.

Held v. State of Montana: Walking to Courtroom
Claire, Georgi and Mat dos Santos, co-executive director & general counsel of Our Children's Trust cheered on by Montanans as they enter the courtroom.

Held v. State of Montana: Walking to Courtroom
Eva and lead plaintiff Rikki Held cheered on by Montanans as they enter the courtroom for trial in Held v. State of Montana.

Held v. State of Montana - Grace sworn in to testify
For the first time in American history, youth plaintiffs tell their stories in court in Held v. State of Montana.

Held v. State of Montana Closing Arguments
Nate Bellinger provided the closing argument in Held v. State of Montana, who shared that the plaintiffs were "honored they were to participate in this venerated process and to finally have the chance to be heard after three long years."

Navahine v. Hawai‘i Department of Transportation
Youth plaintiffs and their attorneys in the constitutional climate case Navahine F. v. Hawai‘i DOT appeared in court in January 2023 to argue their position on why the case should be permitted to move forward.

© 2024 Alex C. Walker Foundation