The Trouble With Atmospheric Public Trust Claims

Law360, New York (June 2, 2011, 11:18 AM EDT) -- Earlier this month, Wild Earth Advocates and various children-plaintiffs filed complaints in federal and state courts alleging that government officials have breached their public trust duties by failing to protect the atmosphere from the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions and resulting climate change.

In general, the state complaints seek declaratory relief to establish that the atmosphere is a protected public trust resource under state common law. Plaintiffs also seek a declaration that as a public trust resource, the states must take actions to protect the atmosphere...
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