Governor Proposes Additional Funds to Fight Youth in Navahine v. HDOT

All the Youth Are Asking For is For HDOT to Do Their Job

14 youth from Hawaii have filed a climate lawsuit against the state government claiming that the Hawaii Department of Transportation has violated their constitutional rights “to live healthful lives in Hawaii now and into the future.”

The lawsuit, Navahine F. v. Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation, aims to hold the Hawaii Department of Transportation accountable to decarbonizing the state’s economy by 2045, a mandate set by the state legislature.

Instead of hearing the youth’s concerns about inheriting an unlivable planet—and taking action to decarbonize, Governor Green’s administration has hired attorneys from the continent to fight the youth’s lawsuit and is requesting an additional $2.25 million (on top of the $1 million already budgeted) for legal battles. The chosen law firm, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, is known for aggressive tactics. They were so aggressive during a recent deposition of one of the youth plaintiffs, they brought her to tears.

Last Wednesday, the State Attorney General defended its position at the Senate budget hearing that it needs millions of dollars more to fight the keiki. In support of the youth plaintiffs, a group of us attended the briefing in silent protest of the administration’s actions with a strong message:


Bottom line, we think the money could be better spent.



The youth plaintiffs and their attorneys are now preparing for trial. Trial dates are scheduled from June 24-July 12, 2024. Leading up to and during the trial, we will be there to stand in full solidarity and support of our brave youth climate leaders. Stay tuned for updates.