Greta Thunberg to sue Swedish government over climate change

Greta Thunberg detained by Norwegian police

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg is suing the Swedish government, lambasting her country’s leaders’ “insufficient” action on global warming. The 20-year-old, who is a member of a group called Aurora along with hundreds of other climate activists, has been given the go-ahead to bring a class action lawsuit against the Government.

The youth-led group said the Swedish government “does not treat the climate crisis as a crisis”.

The group, 600-strong, has called on the coalition government to ramp up their efforts to limit global warming by 1.5C.

It wants the court to decide that Sweden must cut emissions by at least 6.5 to 9.4 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Approving the action, Nacka District Court said: “The district court has today issued a summons in a high-profile class action lawsuit.

“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.”

The court has granted the Swedish government three months to respond to the lawsuit, however did not say when it would be decided.

In an open letter last year, Aurora wrote to the Swedish government, urging it to “recognise the seriousness of the climate crisis”.

It wrote: “The health and future of the planet, and that of ours, is directly dependent on whether or not our politicians recognise the seriousness of the climate crisis.

“And so Aurora wants to do everything we can to get you to do so.”

On Monday the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the “climate time bomb is ticking” as he pleaded with developed economies to curb their emissions quicker, following the latest assessment from scientists that time is running out to stop the climate crisis.

Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Hoesung Lee said: “This report offers hope and it provides a warning.

“The choices we make now and in the next few years will reverberate around the world for hundreds, even thousands, of years.”

Executive director of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, Alex Rafalowicz, said the only way to prevent the “worst-case climate change scenarios” is to immediately reduce hydrocarbon production.

“The coal, oil and gas we already have under production will blow us past our climate goals,” he said.

“The summary for policymakers is simple: stop new fossil fuel projects, phase down existing polluting projects, put renewable energy access into hyperdrive. The science is unequivocal, the problem is the lack of political will that prevents us from acting boldly to reverse this crisis.”

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