MIAMI : A lawsuit over climate change filed by 21 young Americans has gained the attention of the fossil fuel industry, which is joining the US government to oppose the kids' demands for sharper pollution cuts.

The plaintiffs, aged eight to 19, include the granddaughter of renowned climate scientist James Hansen, formerly of NASA and a well-known advocate of reducing the greenhouse gases that are causing the planet to heat up.

The plaintiffs want the government to commit to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and implement "a science-based climate recovery plan" that protects the Earth for future generations, according to the Oregon-based group, Our Children's Trust. "This case will put indisputable science about climate change squarely in front of the federal judiciary," said the group, which filed its lawsuit against President Barack Obama's administration in August, and has filed multiple state lawsuits over the past several years.

They are calling on the US District Court of Oregon to order the government to "swiftly phase down carbon dioxide emissions".

so that atmospheric CO2 concentrations "are no more than 350 parts per million by 2100." Atmospheric CO2 concentration is currently around 400 ppm, a level unprecedented in modern history and one that has raised alarm among many climate scientists.