Greta Thunberg joins the march as activists sue Sweden over its climate policies

Hundreds of activists, including Greta Thunberg, marched through the Swedish capital to a court on Friday to file a lawsuit against the Swedish state for what they believe is insufficient climate action.

More than 600 young people under the age of 26 signed the 87-page document that formed the basis of the lawsuit filed at the Stockholm District Court.

They want the court to find that the country has violated the human rights of its citizens with its climate policy.

“Sweden has never treated the climate crisis as a crisis,” said Anton Foley, spokesman for the youth-led initiative Aurora, which prepared and filed the lawsuit. “Sweden is failing in its responsibility and breaking the law.”

Climate activist Greta Thunberg attends a demonstration by the youth-led organization Auroras in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday. Her cardboard signs read in Swedish: “Now we are suing the state.”Christine Olsson / TT News Agency via AP

The move comes as scientists warn that the odds of limiting future warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit since pre-industrial times are slipping.

At a recent UN climate conference in Egypt earlier this month, leaders tried to keep that goal alive but failed to come up with calls to cut carbon emissions.

Another activist, Ida Edling, said that Sweden “has a climate policy that the research is very clear will contribute to climate catastrophe in the future.”

The Swedish parliament decided in 2017 that the Scandinavian country should no longer emit any net greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by 2045 and must have 100% renewable energy.

Image: Participants march during a climate demonstration called for by the youth-led organization Auroras before it filed its lawsuit against the state for their lack of climate work, in Stockholm on Nov. 25, 2022.
Protesters at a climate demonstration by the youth-led organization Auroras before it filed its lawsuit against the Swedish state for their lack of climate work, Friday in Stockholm.Christine Olsson / TT News Agency via AFP – Getty Images

Swedish broadcaster TV4 said the government declined to comment on pending legal action.

Climate activists have filed numerous lawsuits against governments and businesses in recent years, with varying degrees of success.

In one of the most high-profile cases, Germany’s Supreme Court ruled last year that the government should adjust its climate targets so as not to unnecessarily burden young people.

The German government responded by pushing forward its ‘net-zero’ emissions target by five years to 2045 and setting more ambitious short- and medium-term steps to achieve that target.

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