Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Appeals court rejects lawsuit trying to force Florida to take action on climate change

Posted By on Wed, May 19, 2021 at 10:06 AM

click to enlarge A car drives through flooded streets in Miami - PHOTO VIA B137/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Photo via B137/Wikimedia Commons
  • A car drives through flooded streets in Miami

An appeals court Tuesday rejected a lawsuit in which eight young Florida residents sought to force the state to take steps to address climate change.

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal upheld a decision last June by Leon County Circuit Judge Kevin Carroll to dismiss the case. The panel did not give a detailed explanation, but cited Caroll’s conclusion that the case involved “nonjusticiable political questions.”



The lawsuit, filed in 2018, contended the state should be required to address climate change and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.


In a brief filed at the Tallahassee-based appeals court, attorneys for the plaintiffs contended that the state’s handling of climate-change issues had violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights. At the time the lawsuit was filed, the plaintiffs were ages 11 to 20, according to the brief.

“Appellants (the plaintiffs) are eight youth from across the state of Florida, each of whom are experiencing profound harms to their lives and liberties as a result of the state energy system that appellees (state officials and agencies) collectively oversee and operate,” the brief said. “Appellees are governmental entities that have created and implemented a state energy system that causes and contributes to dangerous climate disruption in violation of appellants’ constitutional rights. Specifically, appellants alleged that the science is unequivocal that dangerous climate change is occurring due to human activities, primarily from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels.”

In dismissing the case last year, Carroll wrote that he “lacks the authority to grant the relief requested due to the Separation of Powers Clause of the Florida Constitution. This court finds that the plaintiffs’ claims are nonjusticiable. The claims are inherently political questions that must be resolved by the political branches of government.”


Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 24, 2021

View more issues

Calendar

© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation