Ecologists Sued Norway Because of Permits for Oil Exploration in the Arctic

In the court of Oslo, the lawsuit of environmental organizations Greenpeace and Nature and Youth against the state of Norway began.

The basis was the government’s permission to explore and expand oil production in the Barents Sea. The plaintiffs accuse Norway of violating the country’s constitution and the Paris climate agreement.

Environmentalists are trying to stop the new development of deposits in the Barents Sea and call it the project “People against Arctic oil,” notes The Financial Times.

In 2014, the Norwegian constitution was amended to provide for state responsibility for the preservation of nature. In particular, it means that new generations have the right to live in environmentally friendly conditions. The sued environmentalists believe that the permission to search for oil fields and extract oil from the Arctic shelf runs counter to Norway’s basic law, notes Deutsche Welle.

In May 2016, Norway issued licenses for exploration work in 10 new Arctic regions of the Barents Sea to 13 oil companies, including Norwegian Statoil, American Chevron and Conoco, German DEA, British Centrica, Austrian OMV and Russian LUKOIL.

In October 2016, environmentalists filed a lawsuit in court, demanding the revocation of licenses. The Norwegian government, in turn, believes that issuing permits for oil exploration does not contradict the country’s constitution, and claims that the plaintiffs misinterpret its provisions.Oslo Norway Greenpeace

Counsel for the plaintiff Catherine Hambro asked the court to clarify whether the decision of the Norwegian authorities to allow oil exploration to “provisions on decisions with potentially irreversible consequences.” As the leader of Nature and Youth, Ingrid Skoldwaier, said drilling new oil wells and burning traditional energy carriers “will have a most negative impact on the future of our children.”

Environmental organizations for the first time filed a lawsuit against the Norwegian government. If a court in Oslo decides in favor of the accusing party, this can be a precedent with global consequences.

Source: Maritime News of Russia