Norway sued over new oil drilling licences

2017-11-12 09:38


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Oslo - For the first time ever, a government is being brought to justice for opening new areas for oil and gas extraction after signing and ratifying the Paris Agreement. 

This historic court case is set to begin in Norway on November 14. Greenpeace and Norwegian environmental organisation Nature and Youth are challenging the Norwegian government in court for allowing oil companies to drill for new oil in the Arctic. The government has for the first time in more than 20 years awarded oil licences in a completely new area of the Barents Sea to 13 oil companies, a move that violates the country's own constitution and contravenes the Paris Agreement.

Climate action

At the time that the lawsuit was filed, then UN chief Ban Ki-moon said: "The fate of the Arctic is tied to the fate of Miami, Mumbai, Shanghai and [other] coastal cities ... When the Arctic suffers, the world feels the pain".

At the same time as the trial starts in Norway, Fiji is hosting the UN climate change conference, COP 23 in Bonn, aiming to continue the work on the historic climate agreement struck in Paris two years ago. It's the first time a Pacific island nation has held the presidency, presenting a unique opportunity for the voices of vulnerable states and people to be at the centre of decisions that will shape climate action.

The Pacific islands are among a small group of nations particularly vulnerable to climate change. In some cases, the threat is existential. Pacific leaders are calling for an end to fossil fuel extraction, a call that has so far been ignored by governments continuing oil exploration efforts. 

Read more on:    greenpeace  |  germany  |  norway  |  conservation  |  climate change

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