Groundbreaking global warming lawsuit to proceed

August 25, 2005 (Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace) A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled yesterday against the Bush Administration and allowed a groundbreaking global warming lawsuit to proceed.  The landmark decision is the first time that a federal court has specifically granted legal standing for a lawsuit exclusively alleging injury from global warming and challenging the federal government's failure to evaluate the impacts of its actions on the Earth's climate and US citizens. Four cities have joined Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth in a lawsuit that applies the National Environmental Policy Act to US-backed overseas projects that have global environmental impacts. Their targets are the two main USexport credit and investment insurance agencies. The Overseas Private Investment Corp. and the Export-Import Bank of the United States lost a bid to block the lawsuit on the grounds that environmental legislation should only apply to domestic projects. The District Court’s narrow ruling [PDF] hasn’t decided the issue, but opens the door to a major case against the US government for driving up greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The court also recognized harm caused by global warming in the US.