Lawsuit Accuses Trudeau of Selling Out Millennials on Climate Change

December 6, 2018
Article Source
The Tyee

Catherine Gauthier got sick of hearing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's federal government make bold promises on climate change while investingin oilsands projects such as the Kinder Morgan pipeline that crank up Canada's greenhouse gas emissions.

Last week, the 29-year-old climate activist from Quebec helped file a lawsuit against the federal government.

"Rather than creating a fast [low-carbon] transition, the Canadian government is going the opposite way by buying a pipeline," Gauthier told The Tyee. "What we understand from this action is the Canadian government has decided to protect the oil industry rather than the future of children and younger generations. So that's really frustrating."

Gauthier is executive director of Environnement Jeunesse, an environmental youth group based in Montreal. Last Monday, her group teamed up with the law firm Trudel Johnston & Lespérance and applied to the Superior Court of Quebec to bring a class action lawsuit on behalf of all Quebec residents under the age of 35.

The lawsuit "alleges that the Canadian government is infringing on a generation's fundamental rights." This is in part because leaders like Trudeau are failing to meet the climate targets Canada agreed to at the Paris climate change talks. A recent UN report, for example, singled out Canada for being nowhere close to its goal of 385 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year -- in 2016, its emissions were nearly double that.

"If the government continues in this direction, people under 35 will suffer the severe consequences of climate change," Environnement Jeunesse argues.

Gauthier has been involved in the fight against climate change most of her adult life. She participated in the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, where she spoke to negotiators from around the world. It terrifies her that she could see devastating climatic changes in her lifetime, especially after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warnedthis fall that we only have a dozen or so years to avoid catastrophic damage.

"In 2030, I will be personally 41," Gauthier said. "So I'm really scared about the impacts of climate change I could be experiencing."

Read more: Lawsuit Accuses Trudeau of Selling Out Millennials on Climate Change