At a press conference in Vancouver on Friday October 25th, fifteen Canadian youth attending a protest rally led by Greta Thunberg, announced they filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government. The group, ages seven to nineteen years old, are suing the government for their inaction over the dangers of climate change – accusing them of ‘continuing to contribute to greenhouse gas emissions despite knowing for decades that emissions cause climate change and disproportionately harm children’. It also states figures that suggest ‘Canada is one of the 10 biggest emitters based on totally national emissions’.
Canadians youth suing government over climate change
The Department of Environment and Climate Change said in a statement to the Canadian Press that ‘the federal government has a plan to combat climate change. Those initiatives include putting a price on pollution and investments in public transit and green technology… the government of Canada is ambitiously tackling climate action and will remain steadfast in its commitment in fighting it’.
In a news release, the David Suzuki Foundation, a partner in the case, explained only the general arguments being filed by the youth, who allege they have suffered ‘specific injuries’ due to climate change. They are asking the Canadian government 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’. It does not clarify the details of the ‘injuries’ and nobody in the lawsuit is able to comment before it is filed with the Federal Court. Their claims disputing a ‘violation of their charter rights’ have yet to be tried in court.