Hawaii Settles Lawsuit With Youths Via Historic Deal

(TheConservativeTimes.org) – Over two years ago, a group of thirteen children and teenagers sued Hawaii over its effects on the climate. This is yet another legal battle we’ve seen brought by a group of younger activists looking to make a difference.

The group of youths and the state of Hawaii have reached a settlement that requires Hawaii to decarbonize the state’s transportation system over the next two decades.

The lawsuit, Navahine v Hawaii Department of Transportation, is the first youth-led case that addresses climate change strictly from a transportation aspect. The lawsuit was led by individuals who have been personally affected by climate change. One fourteen-year-old member spoke about how drought affected their family’s taro farm; another plaintiff stated the loss of their home twice from climate change-related or induced events.

The lawsuit stated that the state of Hawaii was violating the state constitution by running transportation systems that cause the carbonization of the planet and infringe upon the right to a clean and healthy environment. They accused the Department of Transportation of focusing on building only highways and it’s also noted that Hawaii is reliant on petroleum, which is a main contributor as well.

One of the biggest agreements within the settlement is that Hawaii is to achieve zero emissions across all transportation modes “no later than 2045.” They also have to expand their EV charging network by the end of the decade, spending at least forty million dollars.

Our Children’s Trust attorney Andrea Rodgers spoke out saying how important it is for Hawaii to work on climate-saving efforts because of their position. Rodgers stated, “They really have no choice but to step up and address the climate crisis in order to protect their residents and young people who want to live here.”

Rodgers said that the plaintiffs stood tall on their arguments and the case, saying, “I think once people start seeing the investments that are needed to be done into the bike, pedestrian, and transit assets, people are really going to start seeing that this is a system that works better for Hawaii and for the community.”

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