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An American flag is torn as Hurricane Irma passes through Naples, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017.
David Goldman/AP
Environment

These Kids Are Suing Florida’s Governor Over Climate Change

Most of them aren’t old enough to vote, but that won’t stop them from holding their lawmakers accountable.

A group of eight young people between the age of 10 and 20 sued Florida Gov. Rick Scott for his failure to combat climate change on Monday, the Miami Herald.

Despite the fact that the state of Florida is more vulnerable to extreme weather events, worsened by climate change, Scott has reportedly ignored the issue, according to the Washington Post.

Take Action: Call on World Leaders to Help Millions of People Affected by Extreme Weather

In 2011, the governor said he had “not been convinced that there’s any man-made climate change.” Three years later, he softened his position slightly, neither confirming nor denying the existence of climate change, saying only “I’m not a scientist.”

But whether or not Scott is a scientist, the group of young Florida residents is calling on the governor to take a science-based approach to dealing with the impacts of climate change that threaten the “Sunshine State.” 

Represented by the nonprofit Our Children’s Trust, which has supported similar suits on behalf of children in other states, the group hopes to force Florida to begin implementing a research-backed “Climate Recovery Plan.”

In response to the suit, the governor’s spokesman, McKinley Lewis, said “The governor signed one of the largest environmental protection budgets in Florida’s history last month – investing $4 billion into Florida’s environment.”

Read more: Florida Receives Exemption From Offshore Drilling. Now Other States Want in.

The budget Scott signed includes funds to restore and protect the state’s beaches, springs, and the Florida Everglades, but makes no mention of measures like additional regulations for offshore oil drilling, which can be devastating for the environment.

Global Citizen campaigns in support of climate action and the preservation of the environment. You can take action here to help protect our planet.