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Chernaik v. Brown

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20006
Nos. 16, (Or. Ct. App., 01/09/2019)

An Oregon appellate court upheld a lower court's finding that the public trust doctrine does not require the state to defend the environment from climate change. Plaintiff children had sought declaratory relief for the state's failure to take sufficient steps to protect its public trust resources from the effects of climate change. The lower court dismissed the case, concluding that the state did not have a fiduciary obligation to protect public trust resources from climate change. On appeal, the appellate court agreed with this finding, but held that the lower court erred in dismissing the case rather than entering a declaratory judgment. The appellate court therefore vacated and remanded to the lower court for entry of a declaratory judgment.