Hundreds of activists, including Greta Thunberg, marched through the Swedish capital to a court on 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 of the lawsuit that was filed in the Stockholm District Court.
They want the court to find that the country has violated the human rights of its citizens with its climate policies.
“Sweden has never treated the climate crisis as a crisis,” said Anton Foley, a spokesman for the youth 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 of limiting future warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit since pre-industrial times are fading.
At a recent UN climate conference in Egypt earlier this month, leaders tried to keep that goal alive, but calls to cut carbon emissions did not increase.
Another activist, Ida Edling, said that Sweden “is pursuing a climate policy whose research is very clear will contribute to a future climate disaster.”
Sweden’s parliament decided in 2017 that by 2045, the Scandinavian country will have zero net greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere and will have 100% renewable energy.
Swedish broadcaster TV4 said the government declined to comment on the ongoing legal action.
Climate activists have launched numerous lawsuits against governments and companies in recent years, with mixed success.
In one of the most high-profile cases, Germany’s supreme court ruled last year that the government had to adjust its climate targets to avoid unduly overburdening young people.
The German government reacted by bringing its ‘net zero’ emissions target forward by five years to 2045 and setting out more ambitious short- and medium-term steps to achieve that target.