It seems likely that politically engaged teenagers of high school age will take steps to sue the government for inaction on climate change as it is an incredibly important issue that many young people feel very passionately about. The fact that it has been ruled that this kind of lawsuit is valid in Washington state, a fairly politically engaged and liberal region of the country, then it is likely that many teenagers will avail themselves of this opportunity.
On November 10, 2016 Judge Ann Aiken issued an opinion and order denying the U.S. government and fossil fuel industry’s motions to dismiss a constitutional climate change lawsuit filed by 21 youth. The decision means that the youth, age 9 to 20 and from all over the U.S., now have standing because their rights are at stake, and now their case is headed to trial.
Yes, the ruling will inspire more children to bring their file suits to the court room. By defending the climate case brought by a 21 year old, and by giving children ages 9-20 the opportunity to present themselves in court, Judge Ann Aiken promotes the voice of the youthful population. This positive feedback will give children more confidence in proposing their cases in the legal system.
In the end, the children will not see any money from their lawsuits. Whatever the children have to gain will be eaten up by lawyers and other adults who want to get their cut. Ultimately, the children will not be successful under tort and other laws. This will discourage other children from filing suits.