The Federal Government is facing a lawsuit for its failure to take action on global warming and address Canada's commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
The lawsuit is a direct follow up to the Conservative government's failure to meet the demands of a private members bill passed by opposition parties this past February. That bill demanded that the minority Conservatives honour Canada's international climate change commitments and draft a plan outlining how they would do so.
But when the Conservatives unveiled their "Turning the Corner" plan for climate change, not only did they fail to meet the demands of that bill, they also demonstrated it in plain math - a move which may have swung the door wide open for this lawsuit to occur.
Conservatives, global warming deniers, and even some environmentally sympathetic Canadians, will be howling that there is no way we can meet those targets by 2012, the deadline of the Kyoto Protocol. They are probably even right. But getting Canada to meet Kyoto isn't necessarily the point of the lawsuit anymore than the point of the Conservatives' climate change plan was to actually address global warming.
The lawsuit is a pointed action directed at the federal government, regardless of what party comes into power next, to push them towards taking the most aggressive action possible against global warming. Kyoto may not be reachable, but this is no barrier to Canada developing a genuine plan to curb greenhouse gases. If the Conservatives present such a plan, you can be certain this lawsuit would disappear - even if that plan doesn't meet the strict Kyoto letter of the law.
The lawsuit was brought to Federal Court by Friends of the Earth Canada, Ecojustice Canada and private attorney Chris Paliare.