Thunberg-led activists sue Sweden

Lawsuit claims country violated its citizens’ human rights with its policies

This article was written by the Associated Press and was published in the Toronto Star on November 26, 2022.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg holds a placard that reads “Now we sue the State” during a demonstration by youth-led organization Aurora in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday.

Hundreds of activists, among them Greta Thunberg, marched through the Swedish capital to a court Friday to file a lawsuit 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 that is the basis for the lawsuit which was filed in the Stockholm District Court.

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

“Sweden has never treated the climate crisis like a crisis,” said Anton Foley, spokespersons of the youthled initiative Aurora, which prepared and filed the lawsuit. “Sweden is failing in its responsibility and breaking the law.”

The action comes as scientists warn that chances are slipping away to limit future warming to 1.5 C since pre-industrial times.

At a recent UN climate conference in Egypt earlier this month, leaders tried to keep that goal alive, but did not ratchet up calls for reducing carbon emissions. Another activist, Ida Edling, said that Sweden “is pursuing a climate policy the research is very clear will contribute to a climate disaster in the future.”

Sweden’s parliament decided in 2017 said that by 2045, the Scandinavian country is to have zero net emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and is to have 100 per cent renewable energy.

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

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 last year that the government had to adjust its climate targets to avoid unduly burdening the young. The German government reacted by bringing forward its target for “net zero” emissions by five years to 2045 and laying more ambitious near-and-medium term steps to achieve that goal.

Author: Ray Nakano

Ray is a retired, third generation Japanese Canadian born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario along with his 4 younger sisters. He resides in Toronto where he worked for the Ontario Government for 28 years. Ray currently practises in 2 Buddhist traditions: Jodo Shinshu and that of Thich Nhat Hanh. Ray is passionate about climate action and very concerned about our Climate Crisis. He has been actively involved in the ClimateFast group (https://climatefast.ca) for the past 3 years. He works to bring awareness of our Climate Crisis to others. He has created the myclimatechange.home.blog website, for tracking climate-related news articles, reports, and organizations. He is always looking for opportunities through the work of ClimateFast to reach out to communities, politicians, and governments to communicate about our Climate Crisis. He is married and has 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren. He says: “Our world is in dire straits. Doing nothing is not an option. We must do everything we can to create a liveable future for our children, our grandchildren, and all future generations.”

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