"Green Amendments Gain Traction in More States Ahead of Elections"

"A new wave of state legislators are pursuing the constitutional right to a safe environment, which attorneys say could strengthen climate lawsuits and policy if interpreted correctly. But the effectiveness of those amendments hinges on their legal language and other details.

Nine states so far have proposed legislation that would let voters decide in November whether they want the right to a clean, safe environment spelled out in state constitutions.

Washington state, New Jersey, and Hawaii are the farthest along, with committee hearings either recently held or scheduled for the coming weeks.

Green amendments have been around in a couple of states since the 1970s, but they got a boost last year when a Montana judge ruled that state energy project permitting laws violated plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to a healthy environment. The decision marked a win for youth activists and galvanized residents in other states who were already pushing for explicitly stated climate rights."

Drew Hutchinson reports for Bloomberg Environment February 6, 2024.

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 02/07/2024