A court in Sweden fined the climate activist Greta Thunberg on Monday on charges of disobeying police orders while blocking traffic last month during a protest in the port of the city of Malmo.

“Why is it us — who are taking action in line with the science to stop the fossil industry — who face legal consequences, when the fossil industry continues to destroy the chance for people to live safe and worthy lives?” Ms. Thunberg, 20, who is perhaps the world’s most prominent climate activist, said to reporters outside the court on Monday.

The decision came as much of Southern Europe is in the grip of scorching heat waves, which have become more frequent and intense because of climate change.

Emma Ohlsson, the public prosecutor on the case, said that last month, Ms. Thunberg sat with a group of climate protesters at the port blocking vehicles coming in and out. An officer initially allowed them to sit there to give them the opportunity to express their opinions, she said, but about a half-hour later the police asked them to move.

Some protesters moved, Ms. Ohlsson added, but others, including Ms. Thunberg, did not. The police had to physically remove Ms. Thunberg from the street.

Ms. Ohlsson added that Ms. Thunberg told the court that she heard and understood the order but that she chose not to obey it.

“We choose to not be bystanders, and instead physically stop the fossil fuel infrastructure,” Ms. Thunberg wrote on Instagram at the time. “We are reclaiming the future.”

In court, Ms. Thunberg was allowed to ask questions to a police officer involved in the episode, according to local media reports, and she asked how he thought an individual could best slow down the climate crisis.

The officer said that it was a good question, according to the Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan, and that he did not have a good answer.

Ms. Thunberg’s penalty amounted to 30 fines of 50 Swedish krona, for a total of about $150, plus about 1,000 krona, or about $100, that she must pay to a fund for crime victims. Ms. Ohlsson, the prosecutor, said that the fine was very low because Ms. Thunberg committed a minor violation. Ms. Thunberg also told the court that she did not have any income at the moment, the prosecutor noted.

The fine comes as climate protesters around the world have blocked highways, and also occupied galleries and targeted works of art, sometimes at a high cost for both the protesters and the institutions involved.

Ms. Thunberg told reporters outside the courtroom that the fine was expected, but that trials like hers can help the cause by bringing attention to it.

“We will continue as long as the situation is as it is,” she said. “It’s only getting worse,” she added. “We will not back down.”

True to her word, after the hearing, Ms. Thunberg participated in another climate protest in Malmo. Again, she refused to move when asked to do so, and she was carried away by the police.


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