The case comes as Sweden’s new right-wing government is being criticized for its lack of climate targets.
More than 600 young people in Sweden, including climate activist Greta Thunberg, are protesting against the Swedish government, accusing it of inaction on the climate.
The case, which was presented symbolically at the Stockholm district court in a demonstration in the city on Friday, was previously presented electronically at another Stockholm court, according to the organization that challenged it, Aurora.
“There has never been such a serious crime in Swedish law,” Ida Edling, a member of Aurora, told AFP.
The law, which has been in place for two years, comes as Sweden’s new right-wing government faces growing opposition on climate grounds.
Moa Widmark, a 19-year-old student, said she was participating in Friday’s protests because “the climate crisis is worrying and dangerous – we are heading towards disaster.”
Although this case is the first in the Swedish courts, 6 Portuguese youths have taken Sweden and 32 other countries to the European Court of Human Rights, accusing them of failing to solve the climate problem.
“If we win, there will be a decision to say that Sweden has to participate in the global demand for the world to meet the 1.5-degree goal”, said Edling.
In recent years, more and more organizations and citizens have gone to court to challenge what they say is government inaction on climate change.
In December 2019, the Dutch Supreme Court ordered the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020, in a landmark case brought by an environmental group.
In a similar case in France, more than 2 million citizens took France to court because it did not do anything to fight climate change.
In a report published earlier this week, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute said average temperatures in Sweden have risen by about 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 1800s, twice the global average.
The snow cover now takes two weeks less, while the rain has increased.