A federal judge here said environmental groups and four U.S. cities can sue federal development agencies on allegations the overseas projects they financially back contribute to global warming.
The decision Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White is the first to say that groups alleging global warming have a right to sue.
"This is the first decision in the country to say that climate change causes sufficient injury to give a plaintiff standing, to open the courthouse door," said Ronald Shems, a Vermont attorney representing Friends of the Earth.
That group, in addition to Greenpeace and the cities of Boulder, Colo., Santa Monica, Oakland and Arcata, Calif., sued Overseas Private Investment Corp. and the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Those government agencies provide loans and insure billions of dollars of U.S. investors' money for development projects overseas. Many of the projects are power plants that emit greenhouses gases that the groups allege cause global warming.
Wow. This is a strategy for affecting people it hurts - in the pocketbook. Sadly, that makes more sense that appealing to the better angels of their nature. I sure hope it works.