7 young people sued Ontario over its climate policy. This week, they made their case: Seven young people who brought a landmark lawsuit against the Ontario government, alleging its climate plan fails to protect them and future generations, were heard in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto this week; the first time a climate lawsuit aimed at changing government policy has had a full hearing in court.
The plaintiffs, represented by the environmental law charity Ecojustice, brought the suit in 2019 after the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford replaced the former Liberal government’s climate plan. It ended the province’s cap and trade program and brought in a new, weaker emissions target. The plaintiffs want the court to order the province to bring in a new plan. The specifics would be left up to the government, but the plaintiffs want it based on science and to be compatible with the aims of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C.
“At current levels, the entire world is going to blow through the remaining carbon budget in five to 10 years, maybe even less,” said Nader Hasan, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs. Ontario is using a grossly disproportionate share of that carbon budget.”