Children to sue European countries over climate change

"We are destroying the world with our actions," says 9-year-old Andre. "To shut up and say it's wrong is not enough. We have to act for a better future."

(CNN)A group of Portuguese children whose district was ravaged by deadly forest fires this summer is to sue 47 European nations, accusing them of failing to take action on climate change.

The seven youngsters, aged eight to 18, are taking on the member states of the Council of Europe, who together produce at least 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
As signatories to the Paris climate accord, the countries have agreed to cut their emissions rates to help prevent global temperatures rising by more than 2˚C.
"Older generations should reduce the consumption of natural resources," says Simão, 11, one of the children in the court case.
The children will ask the European Court of Human Rights to tell the nations to enforce stronger emission-cutting policies, and to stop mining fossil fuel reserves.
Lead counsel Marc Willers QC, from London's Garden Court Chambers, says the legal action is a landmark case. If successful, it would set a historic precedent and be binding across Europe.
The group's legal fees in the landmark case are being paid for through a crowdfunding campaign, which has so far raised more than £20,000 (US $26,340).

'Country in mourning'

The seven children bringing the action are from the Leiria region of Portugal, but have yet to meet in person, and correspond chiefly over the WhatsApp messaging service.
Claudia, 18, the oldest member of the group, is in the first year of a nursing degree. She told CNN she felt compelled to do something.
"We must act to have a better future," says Sofia, 12, one of the Portuguese children taking legal action.