Young people defend their right to a healthy environment

Date: 6th September 2023
Category: Respect for the views of the child, Right to a healthy environment


A judge in Montana in the United States has sided with young people in a historic climate trial, saying Montana is violating young people’s constitutional right to a clean environment by ignoring the climate effects of fossil fuels.

Young people have successfully defended their right to a healthy environment in this youth-led trial protesting against a law that was passed excluding consideration of climate emissions.

This case could serve as a model for litigants who want to hold governments and fossil fuel companies accountable for climate change and for young people defending their rights.

Despite the trial’s success, the UNCRC states that children and young people must be considered and consulted before policies and legislation which will affect them is passed. In Scotland, the New Human Rights Bill consultation is open and we are encouraging children and young people to have their say on how the Bill will be shaped and implemented. We created a child-friendly resources on how to fillout the consultation which you can find here.