Greta Thunberg, climate activists get court nod to sue Swedish state

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FILE PHOTO: The annual World Economic Forum 2023 in Davos

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Swedish court gave Greta Thunberg and hundreds of other climate activists the go-ahead on Tuesday to proceed with a class action lawsuit against the Swedish state for "insufficient climate policy".

Thunberg, and 600 other young activists in a group called Aurora, sued the Swedish state in November, claiming it had to do more to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to live up to the European Convention on Human Rights.

On Tuesday, Nacka District Court said the lawsuit could go ahead after the group made adjustments to the claim.

"The district court has today issued a summons in a high-profile class action lawsuit," the court said in a statement. "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 Swedish state has three months to respond to the lawsuit before the case could be heard or settled in writing, the district court said, adding it could not say when the suit might be decided.

The Chancellor of Justice did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Aurora wants the court to decide that Sweden needs to cut emissions by at least 6.5-9.4 million tonnes of CO2 per year, starting from 2019.

"The health and future of the planet, and that of ours, is directly dependent on whether or not our politicians recognize the seriousness of the climate crisis, and so Aurora wants to do everything we can to get you to do so," the group said in an open letter to the Swedish government last year.

On Monday, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that the "climate time bomb is ticking" as he urged rich nations to slash emissions sooner after a new assessment from scientists said there was little time to lose in tackling climate change.

(Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Mark Potter)