Recent Youth-Led and Rights-Based Climate Change Litigation in Canada: Reconciling Justiciability, Charter Claims and Procedural Choices

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climate change litigation, youth-led climate change litigation, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, justiciability, environmental rights, Rose v Canada, 2020 FC 1008, Mathur v Ontario, 2020 ONSC 6918, Enjeu, 2019 QCCS 2885


This analysis examines three recent and ongoing Canadian climate change litigation cases: ENvironnement JEUnesse c Procureur général du Canada, La Rose v Canada and Mathur v Ontario. Consistent with international climate change litigation trends, these cases are youth-led and rights-based and they advance claims for present and future generations. They present apparently conflicting judicial views on the justiciability of climate change claims and on the use of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to advance such claims. We examine these issues. We also analyse the insights the cases offer into the connections between litigants’ procedural choices and early success, either in withstanding a motion to strike, or in obtaining court authorisation to proceed by way of class action.