A federal appeals court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a group of young people that had sought to compel the federal government to rein in the nation’s climate emissions.

In dismissing the suit, the court noted that the plaintiffs had succeeded in making a strong case that the government had for decades not only failed to act to limit emissions but had actively promoted fossil fuel development. But the court concluded that the youths lacked standing to sue the government over its actions, no matter how harmful they might be, and that only elected branches of government could take the necessary actions to address the plaintiff’s claims.

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