We won. Canada’s highest court has sided with us.
Thursday March 25, 2021, in a decisive 6-3 victory, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that national, coordinated action to price carbon is constitutionally-sound and essential in the fight against the climate emergency.
The court went as far as to call climate change a “threat of the highest order to the country, and indeed the world… The undisputed existence of a threat to the future of humanity cannot be ignored.”
This landmark decision comes after years of hard-fought litigation, which culminated in a Supreme Court of Canada hearing last fall. There, Ecojustice lawyers argued that the federal government has the duty and legal authority to ensure the provinces do their fair share to respond to the climate crisis through measures such as the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.
This precedent-setting win for the climate is yours to share.
Thanks to supporters like you, Ecojustice was ready to fight back when the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario governments launched separate attempts to derail the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, claiming that it was an overreach of federal powers into provincial affairs. You were with us every step of the way as these cases wound their way through three lower courts — where we prevailed twice, lost once — and prepared for our appearance at the Supreme Court of Canada. Thank you.
Today’s ruling sends a clear message: It’s time for the provinces and their premiers to stop politicking about climate action, and start taking actual steps to address this emergency.
Celebrate this win with us by making a special one-time gift to Ecojustice now. Your gift will power even more precedent-setting legal work to combat the climate crisis.
Our experience working on this case has reinforced our conviction in the power of the law to make change and build a healthier, safer future for us all.
Strong laws, beyond the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, that introduce measures to reduce Canada’s emissions will be essential in turning the tide on the climate emergency. And soon, we’ll have an opportunity to add to our climate law arsenal.
The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (Bill C-12), tabled late last year, is now making its way through the Parliamentary process. The bill charts the path for how Canada will get to net-zero emissions by 2050 and marks the first time a federal government has introduced legislation to hold itself and future governments to account for reducing emissions.
While the bill is a good starting point, it can — and should — be strengthened. In the coming weeks, the Ecojustice team will be working hard to secure such amendments and ensure the strongest possible version of this is passed into law.