Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 4-Greenpeace loses Norway Arctic oil lawsuit appeal


UPDATE 4-Greenpeace loses Norway Arctic oil lawsuit appeal
Representative image Image Credit: Pixabay

An Oslo appeals court approved Norway's plans for more oil exploration in the Arctic on Thursday, dismissing a lawsuit by environmentalists who had said it violated people's right to a healthy environment. The verdict upheld a ruling made by a lower court, rejecting arguments by Greenpeace and Nature and Youth group that a 2015-2016 oil licensing round that gave awards to Equinor and others had breached Norway's constitution.

"The verdict is unanimous," the Borgarting Appeals Court said in its written decision. Greenpeace immediately said it would appeal the case to Norway's supreme court.

Beate Kristine Sjaafjell, a law professor at the University of Oslo, said the supreme court may give a clearer answer on whether handing out new licenses violates Norway's constitution. "It should not evade the big question of whether continuing with oil and gas exploitation contributes to dangerous climate change and conversely whether doing that is in line with Norway's expressed commitments to contributing to staying within the Paris agreement goals," she added.

The lawsuit is seen as part of an emerging branch of law worldwide where plaintiffs seek to use a nation's founding principles to make the case for curbing emissions. The green groups cited article 112 of Norway's constitution, which guarantees the right of current and future generations to a healthy and sustainable environment, as well as the Paris climate agreement to limit global warming.

"The court's verdict is a big step in the right direction, and the reason is that the right to a healthy environment according to the constitution is acknowledged by the court of appeal," Greenpeace Norway chief Frode Pleym told reporters. Oil and gas extraction has helped make Norway one of the wealthiest nations on earth, with a $1.1 trillion sovereign wealth fund stemming from petroleum income.

The government gave out 10 Arctic exploration permits in the contested 23rd licensing round, including three in the southeastern part of the Barents Sea, near Norway's border with Russia. Norway's energy ministry welcomed the verdict.

Oil companies have already drilled exploration wells in some licenses, but have not made any significant discoveries. Aker BP plans to drill a well in one license later this year.

A win at the appeals court could have set a precedent for other climate cases globally while limiting exploration by western Europe's biggest oil and gas producer, the plaintiffs said at the outset of the trial. But while environmental groups said more petroleum resources had already been discovered that could be exploited without breaching the Paris goals, the government argued that any decision to drill was for parliament to make, not the courts.

There has been a surge in climate-related lawsuits in recent years, with campaigners viewing even unsuccessful litigation as an effective way of pressuring governments to be more ambitious about averting climate catastrophe. Over 1,500 climate-related cases were brought in 28 countries, mostly in the United States, between 2007 and 2020, according to Joana Setzer, a fellow at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics.

Most defendants are governments, but lawsuits are increasingly targeting bid oil and gas companies, she said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...

Handling fake news Infodemic in time of Coronavirus epidemic

Social media has provided a platform where everybody can disseminate his her views without any supervision. Its excellent if the message is genuine but misinformation is equally disastrous. Health is such a topic where every Tom and Harry c...

Sentiment Analysis on Budget 2020: Long shot for solution to economic worries?

Industries and individuals alike had high expectations from the government to take tangible steps but the budget 2020 seems to have failed expectations....

How can technology help the future of mobility?

More than a billion people or one-third of the global rural population lacked access to all-season roads and transport services in 2016, subsequently hindering the socio-economic development....

Videos

Latest News

Redskins TE Reed still dealing with August concussion

Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed is still in concussion protocol six months after receiving a blow to the head, new coach Ron Rivera told reporters on Monday. Reed was injured on Aug. 22 in Washingtons third preseason game when he ...

Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs. Mississippi floods appear to hit peak with parts of Jackson under waterFloodwaters in central Mississippi appeared to hit their peak on Monday, potentially allowing the area around ...

Future Lifestyle Fashion plans to raise money

Kishore Biyani-led Future Lifestyle Fashions on Monday said its board will meet on February 20 to consider a proposal to raise funds through issues of equity shares, bonds, and other securities.The board of the company is scheduled to meet ...

Reuters World News Summary

Following is a summary of current world news briefs. Chinas Hubei province reports 93 new coronavirus deathsThe number of deaths in Chinas central Hubei province from a coronavirus outbreak rose by 93 to 1,789 as of Monday, the provinces he...

Give Feedback