Youth vs Canada

ENvironnement JEUnesse to the Supreme Court of Canada

On 6 June 2019, ENvironnement JEUnesse presented its climate lawsuit against the Canadian government at the Superior Court of Quebec on behalf of Quebeckers aged 35 and under. ENvironnement JEUnesse is represented pro bono by the firm Trudel Johnston & Lespérance.

On 11 July 2019, Justice Gary D.D. Morrison of the Superior Court of Quebec delivered his judgment in which he refused to grant ENvironnement JEUnesse the authorization to institute a class action on behalf of all young Quebeckers 35 years old and under against the Government of Canada. Reacting to the decision, ENvironnement JEUnesse announced its intention to appeal the decision.

On 23 February 2021, ENvironnement JEUnesse presented its application for authorization to institute its class action to the Quebec Court of Appeal.

On 13 December 2021, the Quebec Court of Appeal dismissed ENvironnement JEUnesse's appeal to overturn the Superior Court's decision refusing to authorize its class action against the Government of Canada. Given the importance of the matter, ENvironnement JEUnesse applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on 11 February 2022.

A Lawsuit to Protect the Rights of An Entire Generation

On November 26th, 2018, ENvironnement JEUnesse applied to bring a class action against the Canadian government before the Superior Court of Québec. We allege that the Canadian government is infringing on a generation’s fundamental rights because its greenhouse gas reduction targets are not ambitious enough to avoid dangerous climate change and it doesn’t even have a plan that would allow it to reach this inadequate target.

What Do We Want?

ENvironnement JEUnesse is asking the Court to order the Government of Canada to implement a target and the measures necessary to respect the fundamental rights of Québec young people, and to pay an amount equivalent to $100 per member of the class action. In total, the fund would invest $340 million in the implementation of measures to address the climate crisis.

Overview

A Global Movement

Several similar proceedings have been started around the world, notably in the Netherlands, where the government was forced to adopt a concrete plan to reach its climate target. The Dutch government is legally bound to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

Similar legal actions are ongoing in the United States, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland and Colombia.