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