Court Rules Humans Have Right To ‘Life-Sustaining Climate’

Ribbon cutting ceremony held at Farragut Elementary School in Culver City for switching on the school districts new 750kw solar array built at the school. In addition to providing revenue, it will also serve as an education tool to help teach students about alternative energies, sustainability and climate change. California, USA. (Photo by: Citizen of the Planet/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
  • The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled this week that there is a right to a “life-sustaining climate system,” marking the first time a U.S. court has ruled that citizens have climate rights, according to Bloomberg Law.
  • The case was brought by Hu Honua Bioenergy against the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which regulates all utility companies operating within the state, after the regulator denied the company’s plan to enter into a power purchasing agreement with Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO).
  • The court upheld the regulator’s decision, finding that the PUC “understood its public interest-minded mission” and rightly considered the impact of the project on citizens’ “right to a clean and healthful environment,” according to the opinion of the court, written by Associate Justice Todd Eddins.