Activist Greta Thunberg sues Sweden for 'failing on climate'
One of the youngest climate activists, Greta Thunberg, along with other activists, has sued her native country Sweden claiming that it has failed to take "adequate measures to stop climate change." The class action lawsuit, under a global wave of climate-related legal action, was filed in a court in Stockholm. They petitioned the government, believing that climate laws in the country "should be tightened."
Why does this story matter?
- In 1992, the United Nations acknowledged climate change as a crucial issue, which led to notable accords, like the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement among several countries, aimed at slowing global temperature rise.
- This lawsuit in Sweden has come after the highest court in the Netherlands ruled in a high-profile case in 2019 the government was legally bound to take action on global warming.
Climate activist is among 600 plaintiffs in Swedish case
The lawsuit was filed by Thunberg, 20-year-old Anton Foley, the main plaintiff, and more than 600 others, accusing Sweden's climate policies of "violating" its constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. The Friday suit urged the court to direct the Sweden government to undertake a "fair share" of international measures to curb the emissions of greenhouse gases in accordance with Paris Agreement goals.
State failed to promote sustainable development: Petitioners
The group has accused the government of failing to promote sustainable development in the country. As per media reports, the group said that the Swedish state does not fulfill constitutional requirements to facilitate sustainable development to secure and safeguard the environment. Thunberg, speaking to Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, said that she feels "climate laws should be tightened."
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions key to Paris Agreement
As a signatory to the Paris Agreement, Sweden is bound to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the target of "keeping global warming below 2 °C by the end of the century." "The Swedish state has never treated the climate crisis as the crisis it is, and the new government has clearly signaled that it won't do that either," Foley said in a statement.
Five countries were petitioned at United Nations in 2019
In 2019, Thunberg and American activist Alexandria Villaseñor, along with 14 other activists, petitioned five countries at the United Nations' "Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child." The activists, aged 8-17, petitioned Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina, and Turkey for allegedly not being up to tackle climate change, which they believe constituted a violation of the rights of the children.