MONTREAL, June 6, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - ENvironnement JEUnesse is presenting its class action climate lawsuit today against the Canadian government at the Superior Court of Quebec on behalf of Quebeckers aged 35 and under.
ENvironnement JEUnesse alleges the Canadian government is infringing on a generation's fundamental rights, because its greenhouse gas reduction target is not ambitious enough to avoid dangerous climate change and because the government's current plan does not reach this already inadequate target.
ENvironnement JEUnesse is asking the Court to order the Government of Canada to implement a target and the measures necessary to respect the group members' fundamental rights, and to pay an amount equivalent to $100 per member of the class action. In total, the fund would represent $340 million invested in the implementation of measures to address the climate crisis.
"Young people in Quebec are powerfully aware of the climate emergency and are worried by the effect of climate change on their lives," says Catherine Gauthier, Executive Director of ENvironnement JEUnesse, represented pro bono by the firm Trudel Johnston & Lespérance. "We need a new target to protect our health, our security and our lives, and those of future generations. Canada must stop burying its head in the tar sands."
ENvironnement JEUnesse vs Canada is the first and only class action led by young people on climate change in the world.
Several similar lawsuits have been filed elsewhere, notably in the Netherlands, where the government was forced to adopt a concrete plan to reach its climate target. Following the Netherlands Court of Appeal decision, the Dutch government is legally bound to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 per cent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. Similar legal actions are ongoing in the United States, France, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, Colombia and the United Kingdom.
As Bruce Johnston, a partner at Trudel Johnston & Lespérance, says, "we have the immense privilege to live in a country governed by the rule of law. Courts are the ultimate protectors of an entire generation's rights. The right of young people to security and to live in a healthful environment in which biodiversity is preserved is of central importance for society."
The class action seeks:
- the cessation of those interferences;
- the implementation of remedial measures that will help curb climate change;
- and any other remedy that the Court deems appropriate to impose on the Government to ensure the respect of the constitutional rights of all Quebeckers aged 35 and under.
ENvironnement JEUnesse encourages all young people aged 35 and under, and parents on behalf of their children, to show their support by visiting http://enjeu.qc.ca/justice.
The press kit is available at www.enjeu.qc.ca/justice
About ENvironnement JEUnesse
Founded in 1979, ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU) is an organization dedicated to educating youth on environmental issues, to provide training through educational projects and to encourage them to take action in their community. https://enjeu.qc.ca/
Trudel Johnston & Lespérance (TJL) is a law firm that has specialized in class actions and public interest litigation for the last twenty years. TJL has won more class action trials than any other law firm in Canada. TJL's lawyers won the mega-trial against the tobacco industry and obtained an injunction to protect the belugas of the St. Lawrence against Energy East. His lawyers represent communities that are victims of industrial pollution in Malartic and Quebec City and defend Les Courageuses against Gilbert Rozon. TJL pursue a number of public interest cases in which they volunteer, such as this one for ENvironnement JEUnesse. http://tjl.quebec/en/
SOURCE Trudel Johnston & Lespérance
For further information: Emilie Novales, COPTICOM, [email protected], 514-577-5838