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Judge rejects youths' lawsuit asking Canada to develop climate recovery plan

Last Updated Oct 27, 2020 at 4:24 pm EST

VANCOUVER — A Federal Court judge has rejected claims by 15 young people asking that Ottawa be compelled to develop a climate recovery plan based on science.

Justice Michael Manson says in a written ruling that the claims don’t have a reasonable cause of action or prospect of success so the case cannot proceed to trial.

A lawyer for the youths outlined during a court hearing in September the negative impact of extreme weather events such as floods and rising temperatures on his clients’ physical and mental health as well as their homes, cultural heritage and hopes for the future.

The young people across Canada claimed greenhouse gas emissions in particular have led to changes in the environment through the federal government’s alleged support of fossil fuel exploration and extraction.

They also say subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and the acquisition of the Trans Mountain Pipeline highlight Canada’s failure to fulfil its own commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Manson says that while he understands the claim that climate change has a disproportionate impact on children and youth, he does not accept the allegation that the federal government is violating their charter rights.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2020.

The Canadian Press