PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal appeals court has given the green light to a lawsuit filed by young activists who say the U.S. government is failing to protect them from climate change.

The lawsuit brought by 21 children and young adults asserts the government has known for decades that carbon pollution causes climate change but has failed to curb greenhouse gas emissions. They are seeking various environmental remedies.

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected the government's request for an order directing a lower court to dismiss the case.

Julia Olson, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement that the group will put the federal government's "dangerous energy system and climate policies on trial."