A petition filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the Arctic Athabaskan Council alleges that Canada’s fragmentary and lax regulations of black carbon emissions threaten the Athabaskan people’s human rights. The petition describes that the arctic is witnessing disproportionately large rates of warming, and alleges that this warming is having significant adverse impacts on the Athabaskan people. Those impacts include ecological disruptions that make hunting and fishing more difficult and dangerous, changes to regional topography of cultural significance, and the compromising of the Athabaskans’ ability to make sense of their environment for purposes ranging from subsistence to maintenance of cultural traditions. The petition connects these impacts and the warming that causes them to black carbon by explaining that it is a pollutant with severe climate-forcing effects, including the substantial reduction in albedo (reflectivity) of snow and ice.
According to the petition, Canada’s failure to regulate black carbon emissions effectively is the beginning of a causal chain that ends in the violation of the Athabaskans’ rights to enjoy the benefits of their culture, to property, to the preservation of health, and to their own means of subsistence as established by the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. That failure also, according to the petition, results in violations of Canada’s duties to avoid transboundary harm and to protect the environment consistent with the precautionary principle.
The petitioners, anticipating arguments that they failed to pursue remedies via administrative proceedings in Canada and its provinces, explain that such an approach was not feasible for the Athabaskans. For relief, the petitioners request: investigations via onsite visit and a hearing before the Commission; a declaration by the Commission that Canada’s failure to regulate domestic black carbon emissions violates the American Declaration; and establishment and implementation of a plan to protect the Athabaskan people in coordination with the petitioners and the Athabaskans themselves.
|04/23/2013||Petition||Download||No summary available.|