OTTAWA/TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE ALGONQUIN ANISHNAABEG PEOPLE – Ecojustice lawyers welcome today’s Supreme Court of Canada decision confirming that national, coordinated action to price carbon is constitutionally-sound and essential in the fight against the climate emergency.
In September 2020, Ecojustice lawyers argued that Canada has the duty and the legal authority to ensure that all levels of government do their part to respond to the climate emergency, including by introducing and implementing a national carbon-pricing law.
The Supreme Court agreed, calling climate change a “threat of the highest order to the country, and indeed the world… The undisputed existence of a threat to the future of humanity cannot be ignored.”
The court’s decision upholds rulings out of the lower courts in both Saskatchewan and Ontario, which affirmed the constitutionality of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.
Joshua Ginsberg, lawyer with Ecojustice’s law clinic at the University of Ottawa said:
“We are pleased Canada’s highest court has confirmed that the federal government has the legal authority to fight climate change through minimum national standards of price stringency to reduce GHG emissions.
“Now Canadians can rest assured that all provinces will do their fair share to tackle the climate crisis, getting Canada on the path to meeting our Paris commitments and net-zero emissions by 2050.”
Ecojustice uses the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment. Its strategic, public interest lawsuits and advocacy lead to precedent-setting court decisions and law and policy that deliver lasting solutions to Canada’s most urgent environmental problems. As Canada’s largest environmental law charity, Ecojustice operates offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax. The University of Ottawa and Ecojustice are partners in the uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic, a problem-based educational learning course designed to help train the next generation of environmental law and policy leaders.
Sean O’Shea, communications specialist | Ecojustice
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