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Saskatchewan carbon reference hearing Ecojustice lawyers L-R Amir Attaran, Joshua Ginsberg, Danielle Gallant

Ecojustice lawyers L-R Amir Attaran, Joshua Ginsberg, Danielle Gallant

press release

Carbon price essential for fair and effective national climate plan, Regina court hears

February 14, 2019

REGINA — Ecojustice lawyers, representing the David Suzuki Foundation, argued in court today that the risks of climate change, and our ability to respond to counter it effectively, requires a national response.

“Like any national emergency, the federal government must have the authority to act,” said David Suzuki Foundation science and policy director Ian Bruce.

The Foundation was one of many interveners today supporting the federal government’s jurisdiction to have an effective and fair national climate plan that prices carbon pollution. Interveners represented groups of Canadians who are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change: young Canadians, older Canadians and Indigenous nations. Health care professionals, local civil society organizations as well as the province of B.C. are also intervening out of concern for the worsening effects of climate change.

“Organizations like ours take the position that pricing carbon pollution is critically urgent given the rapidly closing window to bring global emissions to zero if we are to slow climate change,” Bruce said.

A national carbon-pricing plan is a necessary part of Canada’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb the negative environmental, economic, physical and mental health effects caused by inaction on climate change. Requiring all provinces to reduce their emissions upholds principles of fairness and effectiveness.

“Saskatchewan is trying to derail a national climate plan, but without a national plan, Canada won’t be able to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions quickly enough to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change,” said Ecojustice lawyer Joshua Ginsberg. “Climate change is now a national emergency and the federal government has both the right and the responsibility to force provinces to act. The effects of climate change will not respect provincial borders, and we’re at the point where the only effective response is collective action.”

“It’s not fair that Canadians suffer because the Saskatchewan government is not taking necessary actions to shrink carbon pollution,” Bruce said.