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Here’s our recent letter about the climate change lawsuit launched by Friends of the Earth and Sierra Legal on May 28, 2007:

The Editor
Globe and Mail

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Re: An Open Mind for the G8 date” (Editorial, May 30, 2007)

Your editorial “An Open Mind for the G8 date” (Editorial, May 30, 2007) dismissed as a “nuisance suit” the Federal Court challenge launched by Friends of the Earth Canada to compel the federal government to fulfill its Kyoto obligations, “apparently regardless of the economic havoc it might cause”. This editorial is wrong on both fronts. First, economic havoc is more likely if we breach our binding international commitments, both from the climate crisis itself, and from the international penalties that can be imposed on us. World experts, such as Sir Nicholas Stern, established the economic cost of inaction on climate change will be hugely greater than the challenging, but smaller, investment required to act now.

Second, this is not a “nuisance suit”. If FOE is right, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 already requires the Minister of Environment to take action when Canada causes air pollution that breaches our binding international commitments. That is what is happening now: Canadian discharges of greenhouse gases will breach our binding Kyoto commitment. It’s one thing for our government to deliberately ignore international law; it’s not so easy to flout Canadian law that can be enforced in our courts.

If the FOE lawsuit survives the inevitable government motions, it could have a major effect on the climate crisis debate in Canada.

Yours very truly,

Dianne Saxe

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