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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Hawaii Settles Climate Suit by Young Litigant

The government of Hawaii recently settled a lawsuit where the settlement includes an ambitious requirement to decarbonize Hawaii’s transportation system over the next 21 years. The lawsuit was filed against the state’s Department of Transport over its fossil fuel use. What was interesting was that the lawsuit was filed by 13 children and teens in the year 2022. This is the world’s first youth -led constitutional climate case addressing climate pollution for the transportation sector, according to the activists and lawyers involved in the case.

The settlement is the latest in a series of victories in climate -related cases by young plaintiffs across the world. Let us now understand what the lawsuit was all about. The plaintiffs in Navaheen vs. Hawaii Department of Transportation argued that Hawaii’s transport department had violated their constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment by implementing transportation policies and prioritizing infrastructure projects that use fossil fuels.

According to a report by Al Jazeera, this lawsuit also cited Hawaii’s constitutional pledge to conserve and protect Hawaii’s natural beauty and all human rights. all natural resources. Also, it pointed to the fact that Hawaii’s transport sector is projected to make up 60% of the state’s emissions by 2030.

Let us now understand what the settlement is..??

 According to the settlement, Hawaii needs to achieve zero GHG emissions across all transportation modes including ground transportation and sea and air inter -island transportation by 2045. The state also has to publish a greenhouse gas deduction plan within a year. Moreover, pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks need to be completed within 5 years while allotting at least $40 million to expand the public electric vehicle charging network by 2030. Not only this the state of Hawaii will be accountable to judge who will enforce the agreement in case the dispute arises.

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