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Home / World / Norway’s Supreme Court hears a rights challenge to oil drilling in the Arctic

Norway’s Supreme Court hears a rights challenge to oil drilling in the Arctic



Across the Norwegian continental shelf, there are about 89 oil and gas fields, according to the government. Only two of them are located in the Barents Sea, a lucrative area the government has increasingly expanded to explore in recent years, which estimates it contains half of the shelf’s undiscovered resources, but the Dynamic Foundation Wildlife World has called “one of the last vast areas of Europe, its marine ecosystems are clean and relatively intact. “

While the special lawsuit involved permits approved for exploration in 2016, the government continued to request such permits ̵

1; saying it would open more Barents Sea for oil and gas exploration in December. Six.

“The Arctic is in crisis largely due to the existing emissions,” said Gail Whiteman, the founder of Arctic Basecamp in Davos. “Any new drilling is a science-based approach to climate change and has a serious contradiction with Norway’s image as a leading green economy.”

Ole W. Pedersen, professor of energy and environmental law at Newcastle Law School, said the use of human rights in climate change lawsuits is a “recent phenomenon” driven by groups that feel that they ran out of other options to force action. in the UK. “That is the last resort.”

The bottom line of the case is that the courts will allow the government as much as it wants, said Esmeralda Colombo, a fellow at the Center for Climate Change and Energy at the University of Bergen. Overall, Norway’s Supreme Court leans towards environmental protection, she said, adding that the disputing parties won a small victory in the final ruling when judges asked the government to share in payment of the costs of the lawsuit.

It will also raise questions such as whether Norway is responsible for the burned emissions from its exports – far more than domestic emissions.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment, along with other environmental organizations, submitted statements in support of the case. According to Gaute Eiterjord, a student involved in the lawsuit, the groups raised funds from the community to help cover legal costs, raising a total of about $ 270,000 from sponsors, including activists. Swedish Greta Thunberg, who has donated about 29,000 USD from the prize money.


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