On May 28, 2007 Sierra Legal Defence Fund filed an application for judicial review on behalf of Friends of the Earth (FOE), with respect to "the ongoing course of action, decisions and inaction of the Government of Canada… regarding Canada's greenhouse gas emissions", becoming the first to file a climate change lawsuit in Canada.
The application contends that the Minster of the Environment is "in continuing breach of s. 166 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act" given that greenhouse gases "are being released from sources in Canada" which create, or may reasonably be anticipated to contribute to, "air pollution that violates, or is likely to violate, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change…and the Kyoto Protocol" as international agreements binding on Canada.
Section 166 of the CEPA states that
(1) Subject to subsection (4), the Minister [of the Environment] shall act under subsections (2) and (3) only if the Ministers [Ministers of the Environment and Health] have reason to believe that a substance released from a source in Canada into the air creates, or may reasonably be anticipated to contribute to
(a) air pollution in a country other than Canada; or
(b) air pollution that violates, or is likely to violate, an international agreement binding on Canada in relation to the prevention, control or correction of pollution.
The application further contends that, to date, the Minister of the Environment "has not taken the required course of action under s.166 of CEPA" and asks the federal court for, among other things, an order "requiring the Minister to comply with the legal obligations under s.166 of CEPA".
To view the application filed by Sierra Legal, click here.