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Canada government sued for alleged non-compliance with Kyoto Protocol statute

[JURIST] A Canadian environmental advocacy group has sued the Canadian government over the 2007 Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act [text], alleging that the government's current compliance plan for the 2005 Kyoto Protocol [text; JURIST news archive] does not meet the act's minimum requirements. The application for judicial review [PDF text; Ecojustice backgrounder], filed by Friends of the Earth Canada [advocacy website], seeks both a declaration that the government's plan is unlawful and an order directing the government "to prepare a revised plan that provides a description of measures to be taken to ensure that Canada meets its obligations under Article 3.1 of the Protocol."

Under the Kyoto Protocol, Canada agreed to reduce greenhouse emissions to six percent below 1990 levels by 2012; however, its emissions are currently up 26.6 percent. South Africa brought a complaint to the committee charged with enforcing the Protocol in May 2006, listing Canada among the 15 nations that have failed to report on their progress toward achieving its goals. Canada has said that if it fails to meet targets, it will not purchase emissions credits through the European Union's Emissions Trading System. A previous lawsuit [JURIST report] filed by Friends of the Earth Canada challenging Canada's failure to reduce greenhouse emission standards was stayed [press release] pending the results of the Implementation Act, which was passed in June.

Canada officially ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 while Liberal Party Prime Minister Jean Chretien was in power; the Conservative Party government of current Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been at best ambivalent about the pact it inherited, which Harper once called a "job-killing, economy-destroying" scheme [CBC report] to drain money from industrialized countries. The United States and Australia are the only two industrialized states still refusing to ratify the landmark environmental treaty.

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