Norway’s Supreme Court Rules in Favor to More Oil Drilling in the Arctic

Norway’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government on Dec. 22, allowing oil drilling in the Arctic region to continue and dismissing the lawsuit by environmental groups on the grounds of the constitutional right to a healthy environment.

Norway’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government on Dec. 22, allowing oil drilling in the Arctic region to continue and dismissing the lawsuit by environmental groups on the grounds of the constitutional right to a healthy environment.

Eleven of the 15 judges of Norway’s top court ruled in favor for the government and the country’s oil industry, rejecting the efforts of environmental groups to invalidate the permits for more oil drilling in the Arctic.

According to the decision of the court, the permits in the Arctic did not breach either the constitutional right to a healthy environment or the European Convention on Human Rights.

The four judges who ruled against the oil drilling said that the government had failed to assess potential climate emissions and that the environmental groups should have won.

Four environmental groups — Greenpeace Norway, Nature and Youth, Friends of the Earth, and Grandparents Climate Campaign — argued that drilling for offshore oil violated the Norwegian constitutional right to a clean environment, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights and the Paris climate agreement, because it would increase carbon dioxide emissions.

“It is absurd that our right to a liveable environment cannot be used to stop Norway’s most harmful activities for our climate and environment,” Greenpeace Norway Head Frode Pleym said, adding that the group is considering an application to the European Court of Human Rights “to stop this harmful industry.”


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