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AFP
June 16, 2021

NGOs take Norway to European Court over Arctic oil exploration

AFP
June 16, 2021

Oslo: Two NGOs and six young climate activists have decided to take Norway to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to demand the cancellation of oil permits in the Arctic, Greenpeace announced on Tuesday.

It’s the latest turn in a legal tussle between environmental organisations Greenpeace and Young Friends of the Earth Norway on one side and the Norwegian state on the other. The organisations are demanding the government cancel 10 oil exploration licenses in the Barents Sea awarded in 2016, arguing it was unconstitutional.

Referring to the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the organisations claim that the oil licenses violated article 112 of Norway’s constitution, guaranteeing everyone the right to a healthy environment.

"The six activists, alongside Greenpeace Nordic and Young Friends of the Earth Norway, hope that the European Court of Human Rights will hear their case and find that Norway’s oil expansion is in breach of human rights," Greenpeace said in a statement. In December, Norway’s Supreme Court rejected the claim brought by the organisations, their third successive legal defeat.

While most of the judges on the court agreed that article 112 could be invoked if the state failed to meet its climate and environmental obligations -- they did not think it was applicable in this case.