Ecojustice Blog – Climate change, Special Update Posted on November 26, 2019 (updated: November 29, 2019)

#GenClimateAction: Our biggest climate lawsuit yet

Devon PageLawyer
Seven young people suing the Government of Ontario for weakening climate targets
Photo by Emily Chan

Today, seven young people from across Ontario announced they are suing Premier Ford and his government for tearing up the province’s climate laws and violating their Charter rights to life, liberty, and security of the person.

They say a safe climate and healthy environment are the very basis of the long, full lives they intend to lead. And they’re not going to let anyone steal their futures and get away with it.

And they won’t be going at it alone.

Ecojustice will be backing these youth every step of the way. Once you get to know them, I think you’ll be inspired too.

Click here to learn more about the seven courageous young people at the heart of this landmark case, and watch a video of our media conference below.

As I stood listening from the back of the media room today at Queen’s Park, I was struck by how poignantly these young people — who range in age from 12-23 —  spoke of the responsibility they feel to those even younger than them.

One by one, they expressed fear, anger, and grief that the actions of governments today will force them — as well as their younger siblings, cousins, and future children — to shoulder the oppressive weight of the climate crisis. Because of this, they say they have no choice but to take legal action against their own government to defend their right to a safe and just future.

Thanks to your support, Ecojustice is backing these remarkable young people with our legal expertise, organizational resources, and courtroom experience as they fight for their futures — and the future of generations yet to come.  It’s our biggest climate lawsuit yet.

The case argues that Ontario’s 2030 climate target – made weaker by the Ford government’s Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, 2018 – is inadequate, unconstitutional, and must be struck down.

Under Ontario’s 2030 target the Government of Ontario will allow significantly more greenhouse gas emissions to be emitted. This, our clients say, is scientifically and morally indefensible. It will worsen the climate emergency and contribute to dangerous climate change-related impacts such as heatwaves, floods, fires, and poor air quality that will harm the health of people throughout Ontario.

“If I’m this scared now, what will it be like for people just like me in 10 years, or 10 years after that?” asked Alex Neufeldt, 23.

Alex and her fellow applicants shouldn’t have to fight this fight. But they, along with young people around the world, have stepped up to lead the charge for a safe climate future.

Follow along as Alex, Beze, Madison, Shaelyn, Shelby, Sophia, and Zoe challenge Doug Ford’s climate inaction.

Watch the press conference below.

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