Norway faces climate lawsuit over Arctic oil exploration plans
Campaigners say decision to open up the Barents Sea violates the nation’s constitution and threatens the Paris climate agreement
Tuesday 18 October 2016 12.47 BST
A lawsuit has been filed against the Norwegian government over a decision to open up the Barents Sea for oil exploration which campaigners say violates the country’s constitution and threatens the Paris climate agreement.
The case is being brought by an alliance including Greenpeace, indigenous activists, youth groups, and the former director of Nasa’s Goddard institute for space studies, James Hansen.
Norway is seen internationally as a green role model by many for its pledge of climate neutrality by 2030, its reliance on hydropower and ambitious plans for electric cars.
But Conservative prime minister, Erna Solberg, could now be forced to appear before an Oslo city court on charges of violating Article 112 of the country’s constitution, which guarantees every citizen’s right to a healthy, diverse and productive environment.
Truls Gulowsen, the director of Greenpeace Norway, said: “Signing an international climate agreement while throwing open the door to Arctic oil drilling is a dangerous act of hypocrisy. By allowing oil companies to drill in the Arctic, Norway risks undermining global efforts to address climate change.”