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Greta Thunberg joins march as activists sue Sweden over climate policy

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

More than 600 young people under the age of 26 signed the 87-page document which is the basis of the lawsuit which was filed in Stockholm District Court.

They want the court to determine that the country violated the human rights of its citizens with its climate policies.

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

The action comes as scientists warn the odds are slipping away from limiting future warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit since pre-industrial times.

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

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

Marchers at a climate protest organized by the youth-led organization Auroras before it files a lawsuit against the Swedish state for its lack of climate work, in Stockholm on Friday.Christine Olsson/TT News Agency via AFP – Getty Images

The Swedish parliament decided in 2017 that by 2045 the Scandinavian country should have zero net greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere and have 100% renewable energy.

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

Climate activists have launched numerous lawsuits against governments and companies in recent years, with mixed success.

In one of the most high-profile cases, Germany’s highest court ruled last year that the government must adjust its climate targets to avoid unduly burdening young people.

The German government has responded by bringing forward its “net zero” emissions target by five years to 2045 and establishing more ambitious short- and medium-term measures to achieve this goal.


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