Swedish court allows activists to sue state over climate policy
The youth-led initiative Aurora is behind the lawsuit.
A court in Sweden has allowed a group of environmental activists, including Greta Thunberg, to file a lawsuit against the Swedish state for what they say is insufficient action on the climate.
The youth-led initiative Aurora, which is behind the lawsuit, said on its website that “the Swedish state does not treat the climate crisis as a crisis”.
Last year, more than 600 people under the age of 26 signed a document as the basis for the lawsuit, saying the country has violated its citizens’ human rights with its climate policies.
On November 25, hundreds of activists – among them Ms Thunberg holding a sign reading “now we sue the state” – marched through the Swedish capital to the courthouse to file the lawsuit.
“We in Aurora hold the state responsible for the lack of climate work. Through a court process, we must ensure that the state respects human rights,” the group said on its site.
The action comes as scientists warn that chances are slipping away to limit future warming to 1.5C since pre-industrial times.
Nacka District Court said the Swedish government has been given three months to submit its response.
The court said it could not say when hearings might take place or when the case will be decided.
Climate campaigners have launched numerous lawsuits against governments and companies in recent years, with mixed success.
In one of the most high-profile cases, Germany’s top court ruled in 2021 that the government had to adjust its climate targets to avoid unduly burdening the young.
The Berlin government reacted by bringing forward its target for net-zero emissions by five years to 2045 and setting more ambitious near-and-medium term steps to achieve that goal.