Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

Nine-year-old Andre is one of seven children suing 47 European nations with the help of the Global Legal Action Network, arguing that the countries are not doing enough to combat climate change. (Photo: Bentler/Twitter)

Because Paris Deal Not Nearly Enough, European Climate Kids File Suit

"Whether we like it or not, we are going to be the main ones affected by the consequences that climate change entails."

Julia Conley

Seven children in Portugal have hit their crowdfunding target for a lawsuit they are mounting against are 47 member nations of the Council of Europe—which they say are not doing enough to fight climate change.

The children initially hoped to raise £20,000 (about $26,000)—a goal they reached Thursday after less than a month of crowdfunding. They're now hoping to raise a total of £100,000.

The young plaintiffs are being represented by the Global Legal Action Network and are from the Leiria region of Portugal, where forest fires killed 62 people over the summer. Near the country's northern border, more fires have also killed at least 44 people in Portugal and Spain over the past week.

The nations named in the lawsuit are responsible for about 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. While they are all signers of the Paris climate agreement and as such have committed to cut their emissions in order to prevent the global temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius, the children argue that they're not doing enough.

The children, who range in age from eight to 18, will demand in the European Court of Human Rights that the countries stop mining fossil fuels through fracking and other means, and enforce stronger laws to drastically cut emissions.

"Whether we like it or not, we are going to be the main ones affected by the consequences that climate change entails," said one of the plaintiffs, a 12-year-old named Sofia, in an interview with CNN. "We must act to have a better future. I think it's time to do something and fight for our future and the future of the next generations."

In the U.S., 21 young people also mounted a lawsuit this year against President Donald Trump over his climate change denial and his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Watch: Bernie Sanders Argues 'We Must End the Greed of Big Pharma'

The live address comes as the Senate Budget Committee chair continues to push for including Medicare expansion and drug pricing reforms in the Build Back Better package.

Common Dreams staff ·


McDonald's Workers Join 'Striketober' and Walk Out Over Sexual Harassment

One striker participated because "McDonald's still refuses to take responsibility for the countless women and teenagers who face harassment on the job at its stores across the globe."

Jessica Corbett ·


Breaking: FDA Panel Recommends Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine for Kids 5 to 11

With just one abstention, the advisory panel voted 17-0 to approve the vaccine for younger children which scientific review has deemed both safe and effective against the deadly virus.

Common Dreams staff ·



Sunrise Movement Corrects Manchin: US 'Has Done More Than Any Other' to Cause—Not Solve—Climate Crisis

"Sen. Manchin is clearly drafting his climate plan with false information. At worst he's telling us lies given to him by his fossil fuel donors. At best, he's misinformed."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo