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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A 13-year-old takes North Carolina to court over climate change

Posted by on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 at 1:19 PM

click to enlarge Hallie Turner, a 13-year-old from Raleigh, is taking the state to court to force new climate change policies. - COURTESY OF OUR CHILDREN'S TRUST
  • Courtesy of Our Children's Trust
  • Hallie Turner, a 13-year-old from Raleigh, is taking the state to court to force new climate change policies.


Here's the newest tactic in approaching errant policymakers: Use very, very smart children to shame them publicly.

This Friday in the Wake County Courthouse, oral arguments are scheduled to begin in a lawsuit brought by a 13-year-old from Raleigh named Hallie Turner, a climate change activist since the fourth grade. The teen is asking the state to issue an edict that would require North Carolina to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by at least 4 percent each year. It's an idea that has never caught on with industry leaders or, for that matter, legislators in Raleigh.

Here's Hallie's story, captured over at iMatter, a youth-driven project for climate change advocacy. The Indy's Bob Geary also interviewed Hallie two years ago when she led a march advocating for the environment in Raleigh. 

Turner says she was inspired to take up the issue of climate change by Al Gore's book, "An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming." 

After the N.C. Environmental Management Commission, a panel of appointees tasked with drafting rules for the protection of the environment, rejected Turner's petition for new climate change rules this year, Turner appealed to the courts. 

The science is very alarming on the subject. Last year, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which includes some of the world's foremost experts on climate change, issued a report concluding that they are 95 percent certain humans are responsible for global warming. 

Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan will hear the case. Turner will be represented by attorneys at Duke University's Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, as well as Forsyth County attorney Gayle Tuch. The Oregon-based, climate change nonprofit, Our Children's Trust, says it helped Turner file the lawsuit. 

Friday's hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Wake County Courthouse on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh. 


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