Green groups lose court battle to force Canada to abide by Kyoto Protocol
Green groups Friends of the Earth and Ecojustice Canada lost their court bid Monday to force the Canadian federal government to abide by a national law passed last year requiring the country to meet its Kyoto Protocol targets. As a signatory to the Kyoto treaty, Canada agreed to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions to 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. However, citing fears that emissions reductions could lead to economic woes, the Conservative-led government instead released its own plan to reduce emissions by 2020 that allows some 30 percent more emissions than Canada’s Kyoto target. Greens argued in court that the government broke its own law by missing three mandated deadlines to prepare plans to meet the Kyoto reductions, but on Monday, a judge ruled [PDF] that the courts shouldn’t decide the matter. “While the appeal raises important questions, they are of an inherently political nature and should be addressed in a political forum rather than in the courts,” the judge wrote. Many environmentalists disagreed, saying it’s the job of the courts to make sure such laws are upheld.