After losing two lower courts, four Norwegian environmental organizations in April this year got acceptance to bring their case against Arctic oil drilling in the Barents Sea in for the country’s highest court.
The case hearings will start on 4 November, Greenpeace Norway announces.
Seven full days have been set aside for the case, and all 19 judges of the Court will attend. It will be an extraordinary court process. Only 10 percent of cases in Norway are taken to the Supreme Court, and very few of them are assessed over this many days.
It was in 2016 that the organizations sued the Norwegian state for the opening of new oil drilling in the Barents Sea through the 23rd licensing round.
The environmentalists argue that Arctic oil drilling will contribute to more harmful climate gasses to the atmosphere and consequently contradict Article 112 in the country’s constitution.
That article says that the State has an obligation to guarantee citizens’ rights for a secure climate.
No other countries in the circumpolar Arctic have allowed for oil drilling further north than Norway.
People must be aware that they have a Constitutional right to a healthy environment, the organizations underline.
“The Supreme Court’s decision will either have fatal or fantastic consequences for our future. It is crucial that people recognise the importance of that,” says Therese Hugstmyr Woie, head of Young Friends of the Earth Norway.
Related stories from around the North:
Arctic: Roundup of COVID-19 responses around the Arctic, Eye on the Arctic
Canada: What Russia’s $300B investment in Arctic oil and gas means for Canada, CBC News
Finland: Finland investigates oil leak risks from Baltic Sea shipwrecks, Yle News
Greenland: Greenland joins push to ban heavy fuel oil in the Arctic, Eye on the Arctic
Iceland: Iceland to restrict heavy fuel oil use in territorial waters, Eye on the Arctic
Norway: Plenty of more oil in Barents Sea, says Norwegian petroleum authority, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Arctic oil plans in Norway and Russia disrupted amid COVID-19 crisis. The Independent Barents Observer
United Kingdom: Exemptions to possible Arctic HFO ban denounced by Indigenous orgs, environmental groups, Eye on the Arctic
United States: Wells Fargo becomes third major US bank to nix Arctic oil investment, Alaska Public Media