Friends of the Earth has brought a lawsuit against the Harper government
for failing to live up to the obligations of the Kyoto Protocol, alleging that breaking the international treaty also violates Canada's pollution laws.
But the court action is a legal long shot, according to some observers, who say the suit will put the Conservatives on the defensive over climate change, but has little chance of succeeding.
"Before the government smacks them out of court, they'll get some distance out of the government they wouldn't have gotten had they not pulled this move," said Aldyen Donnelly, president of the Greenhouse Emissions Management Consortium, a Vancouver non-profit group representing major energy companies.
Ms. Donnelly called the legal action a "nuisance suit," likely launched to embarrass Prime Minister Stephen Harper before next week's G8 meeting in Germany, where climate change will be a major focus. "It's a brilliant strategic move," she said.