Greta Thunberg sues Sweden
A group of more than 600 Swedish young people, including environmental activist Greta Thunberg, has sued the nation’s government for its insufficient efforts in tackling the climate crisis.
On Friday, a demonstration called by the youth organization Aurora marched through the Swedish capital to lodge the class-action suit with the Stockholm District Court. The group wants the judiciary to rule that Sweden has violated its citizens’ human rights by pursuing inadequate climate policies.
“We are 636 young people in Aurora who are suing the Swedish state for insufficient climate action,” Thunberg wrote on Twitter on Thursday, adding that “when the state carries out climate policy that threatens our human rights, it breaks the law.”
Later, she also noted that Black Friday, which marks the start of the Christmas shopping season but is also a symbol of overconsumption, “is the perfect day to sue the state” over the climate. “So that’s what we did. See you in court!” the activist added.
Prior to the lawsuit, Aurora wrote an open letter addressed to several high-ranking Swedish officials, including Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Climate Minister Romina Pourmokhtari, demanding, among other things, that Sweden “takes its fair share” in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 F) as compared to pre-industrial levels.
According to a climate law adopted by Sweden in 2017, the nation’s authorities have a duty to do their best to curb emissions of greenhouse gases to reach net-zero by 2045.
However, the new Swedish government formed in October scrapped the Environment Ministry in a widely criticized move, while relegating its duties to the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation. Its new budget has also been slammed for measures that may increase emissions from the transport sector.
In 2019, the Netherlands’ Supreme Court upheld a ruling that ordered the nation’s government to do much more to cut carbon emissions, insisting that it is obligated to protect its citizens’ human rights in the face of climate change.