About this case
Seven young people, backed by Ecojustice, are suing the Government of Ontario for weakening its climate targets because it will lead to widespread illness and death, violating Ontarians’ Charter-protected rights to life, liberty, and security of the person.
As young people, the applicants say they and people like them will bear the costs of climate inaction more than previous generations.
The Ford government passed the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act in 2018. The Act repealed what were considered to be relatively strong greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2020, 2030, and 2050. The government then replaced these targets with a single, significantly weaker 2030 target.
By weakening the province’s targets, the Government of Ontario will allow significantly more greenhouse gas emissions to be emitted, further fueling the climate emergency and contributing to dangerous climate change-related impacts such as heatwaves, floods, fires, and poor air quality that will harm the health of people throughout Ontario.
Ontario’s backsliding comes at a time when there is a clear scientific consensus and moral imperative for governments to limit warming to 1.5°C. Meeting this temperature goal, set out in the Paris Agreement, will require global greenhouse gas emissions to halve by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.
The applicants, who hail from communities across Ontario and range in age from 12 to 24, are represented by lawyers from Ecojustice and Stockwoods LLP Barristers in this public interest litigation.