May 31, 2007

Friends of the Earth launches first global warming lawsuit against Canada


2007 Mercedes-Benz B-Class
2007 Mercedes-Benz B-Class. Click image to enlarge

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Ottawa, Ontario – The environmental group Friends of the Earth Canada has launched a landmark lawsuit against the Government of Canada for abandoning its international commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. The lawsuit, filed in Federal Court in Ottawa by Sierra Legal, alleges that the federal government is violating Canadian law by failing to meet its binding international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The lawsuit is an application for judicial review, and alleges that the government’s failure to effectively regulate greenhouse gases is likely to violate the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. Friends of the Earth says the violation contravenes section 166 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which states that Canada must abide by its international agreements in preventing pollution.

Canada ratified the Kyoto protocol in December 2002, requiring a reduction of overall greenhouse gas emissions to six per cent below 1990 levels during the period 2008 to 2012. In April 2007 the federal government announced its “Turning the Corner” climate change strategy, which set the reduction targets to 20 per cent below 2006 levels by 2020. This would leave Canada approximately 39 per cent off target with Kyoto in 2012 and would not achieve the Kyoto target until 2025, if at all, the environmental group says.

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