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Why Hawaii Became a Hotbed of Legal Activism to Protect the Climate – Leader Post

Nov 02, 2023

The state’s cultural link to Pacific Island nations and its history of protecting nature both paved the way for bold climate lawsuits.

(Bloomberg) — When it comes to mitigating climate change, “yesterday’s good enough has become today’s unacceptable.” That was what judges on Hawaii’s Supreme Court ruled earlier this year, in the first US decision to declare a stable climate as an affirmative right.

The same court on Tuesday tossed an oil company appeal to quash a Honolulu lawsuit accusing industry giants of launching years-long deception campaigns about fossil fuel consumption. The decision fast-tracks the case towards what is likely to be the first US climate misinformation trial against the energy industry.

And at the state’s special environmental court — one of only two designated environmental courts nationwide — a youth coalition is pursuing a first-of-its-kind constitutional lawsuit against the state’s transportation department for approving high-emission projects.

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