Maine Climate Protection Petition


On behalf of all the world’s children, 350 Maine is partnering with a youth-driven, international campaign to stabilize the world’s deteriorating climate. The campaign is led by Our Children’s Trust, a nonprofit organization supporting youth and lawyers all over the globe in the development and pursuit of legal actions to compel science-based government efforts to reduce and eliminate greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.


Working with Our Children’s Trust, members of the Maine bar, together with faculty and students from the University of Maine School of Law, have put together a petition requesting the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to implement a rule-making proceeding that will make good on a fourteen year-old climate law. That law mandates serious long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. How serious? In the words of the Legislature, the reductions must be “sufficient to eliminate any dangerous threat to the climate.” 38 M.R.S.A. § 576 (emphasis added).


350 Maine has begun gathering signatures on this petition. Once at least 150 registered Maine voters have signed it, the DEP is required by law to deal with it. The rules we seek are of a nature sufficient, according to the best science available, to stabilize the climate. As recent events have underscored—four foot rains in Texas, grid-destroying winds in Florida, record-breaking wildfires in Montana, and months to come of dark nights and humid days in Puerto Rico—our children’s future depends on what we do right now.


If you want to pitch in on the signature-gathering effort or to participate in a small group now forming to work with youth, contact Sue Pastore and Lee Chisholm. For more information on the worldwide initiative, including updates on a groundbreaking federal lawsuit that may become as important for the climate justice movement as the school desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of Education was for the Civil Rights Movement, visit Our Children's Trust. And stay tuned for more information about this developing campaign.


Image credit: Lee Chisholm