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Young Canadians sue government for failing to act on climate change

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25 October 2019

Canadian kids sue government over climate change

Author: Jeff Tollefson, Nature

A group of children and young adults filed a lawsuit on 25 October alleging that the Canadian government has violated their constitutional rights by promoting and enabling fossil-fuel development in spite of acknowledged risks from global warming. Fifteen people aged between 10 and 19 filed the lawsuit in federal court, arguing that climate change will impinge on their right to “life, liberty and security”. The lawsuit also argues that climate change will interfere with basic equality rights, given that the most severe effects of climate change will be borne by future generations... The lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal challenges aiming to force governments around the world to act on climate change. It comes just days after an election in which Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau — whose administration has acted more aggressively on climate change than his predecessors — eked out a win, although his Liberal Party lost its majority in parliament.

... Because there is no explicit right to a healthy environment under the Canadian constitution, the case hinges on an untested legal theory: that the adverse impacts of global warming will impinge on other fundamental rights.

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24 October 2019

Youth to sue Canadian government for climate change harms & discrimination

Author: Amy Smart, CTV News

A lawsuit that's expected to be filed Friday claiming young people disproportionately suffer the effects of climate change is potentially precedent setting but also a tough case to argue, legal experts say... It calls on Ottawa to stop conduct that violates their charter rights and to implement a plan that reduces Canada's greenhouse gas emissions "in a manner consistent with what best available science indicates is needed for the federal government to protect young Canadians, do its fair share to stabilize the climate system, and avert the catastrophic consequences of climate change."... Maureen Killoran, a litigator at Osler law firm with expertise in energy and resource law, said the suit is part of a global trend but only a case in the Netherlands has been successful in holding a government responsible for its domestic contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions... Our Children's Trust, which launched a similar case against the United States government, is providing technical support.

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