Swedish youths launch landmark climate lawsuit against government

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected]
Swedish youths launch landmark climate lawsuit against government
STOCKHOLM 20221125 Klimatdemonstration i Stockholm som den ungdomsledda organisationen Auroras gjorde inför inlämning av sin stämningsansökan mot staten för deras bristande klimatarbete. Demonstrationståget går mellan Mynttorget och Stockholms tingsrätt. Foto: Christine Ohlsson / TT / kod 10430

Over 600 Swedish children and young people - including climate activist Greta Thunberg and three seven-year-olds - are suing the Swedish state for doing too little to combat climate change.


The so-called Aurora law suit has been in preparation for two years, and the group is accusing the government of, among other things, failing to carry out investigations into how large a percentage of the global work to combat the climate crisis Sweden should be responsible for.

"If the state's climate measures are lacking, they are threatening our human rights in the future," law student Ida Edling told Dagens Nyheter (DN), the newspaper which first reported the story.

"It's a legal responsibility which the state can be legally called to account for. That's why we're suing them," she said.

Edling is one of the people behind the initiative, which climate activist Greta Thunberg is also involved with.

Aurora would have launched their lawsuit no matter which political bloc had won September's election, Edling said.

"We've worked on this for two years and would have sued any government which is not working towards a climate policy in line with Sweden's fair share of the global climate transition," she said. "That includes the previous government."


On Friday, she marched to the Stockholm courthouse to file the lawsuit alongside young people from Aurora and other members of the climate and environment movement.

"In a state with the rule of law, everyone has to follow the law. Even the government," Edling said. "When the state's climate policy threatens our human rights, it breaks the law."

Climate minister Romina Pourmokhtari told DN via her press secretary that she had no comments on the case.

Similar suits have been brought forward in other European countries. In Germany and the Netherlands, climate activists won against the respective governments in court, forcing both countries to sharpen their climate targets.


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