Thunberg & Co. gets nod to sue the Swedish state

Hundreds of young climate activist sue the Swedish government for lackluster attempts at solving the climate crisis.
Photo: Arnd Wiegmann
Photo: Arnd Wiegmann

On Tuesday, Greta Thunberg and hundreds of young climate activists were given the go-ahead to sue the Swedish state, writes Swedish news agency TT.

The lawsuit centres around the government’s handling of climate changes.

Youth organization Aurora is behind the legal claim. The groups want an official ruling that the state ”doesn’t treat the climate crisis as a crisis.”

Nacka District Court said the lawsuit could go ahead after the group made adjustments to the claim.

”In the case, demands have been made for the district court to determine that the state has an obligation to take certain specified measures to limit climate change,” reads a court statement, according to news outlet Reuters.

The Swedish state now has three months to respond to the lawsuit before the case is determined at court or in a written ruling.

A total of 300 individuals – among them Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg – are behind the class action.

It has taken two years to draw it up, and the organization deems the Swedish climate policy as unlawful in the motion.

According to TT, Aurora spokesperson Ida Elling has previously made comments to Swedish media SVT.

”The Swedish state has a legal obligation to preserve human rights. And that includes life, health, dignity, well-being, home and property.”

”At the same time, they sign off on a climate policy, which scientific research has adamantly pointed out as a contributor to a future climate catastrophy,” she said.

Professor in environmental law at Stockholm University Jonas Ebbeson believes consequences could be significant if the Swedish state is to lose the case.

”It would show to the world that Sweden does not adhere to the laws we have pledged to follow,” he says to TT.

According to Aurora, one of the ways the state of Sweden betrayed its own obligations was by failing to look into how large a share of the global mitigation strides the country should administer.

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