Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The Canadian government won't have to face three suits accusing it of failing to draft a plan to meet pollution-reduction goals, with a federal judge saying he couldn't issue a meaningful order for the government to follow.
Two environmental advocacy groups, Friends of the Earth and Ecojustice Canada, sued the government in September and asked the judge to order the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to comply with a June law requiring it to prepare a plan to meet the emissions targets of the Kyoto Protocol. The law passed with the support of opposition parties, which had a majority of the votes in Canada's parliament.
Such an order would be so devoid of meaningful content and the nature of any response to it so legally intangible that the exercise would be meaningless,'' Judge Robert Barnes said in a 40-page ruling issued today.
Pity, but there you go.
At this moment environmentalists should be looking to make sure the Tories implement the plan they have already offered. It is in fact a series of regulations that set intensity targets for polluters, and then gives them several offset-buying alternatives should they fail to meet these targets. It sucks, but it's there. Should a new government come in, raze the regulatory mechanism that the Tories are building, and start from scratch--well, this counts as another form of delay, doesn't it? Instead, our hypothesized new government should toughen up whatever regulations the Tories leave behind (assuming they are serious about implementing any sort of green plan).
Update: Ruling is here.