Norway violates human rights

Norway: Supreme court dismisses climate suit against the state


Norwegian environmentalists failed to file a lawsuit against the state at the Oslo Supreme Court. Oil drilling in the Arctic does not violate fundamental or human rights.

Greenpeace and other environmentalists have also failed in their years of struggle against oil drilling in the Arctic before the Norwegian Supreme Court. The court in Oslo dismissed the plaintiffs' appeal with a majority of eleven to four votes, as the chief judge of the Scandinavian country announced on Tuesday in an online verdict.

The judges backed the verdict of two lower courts that the Norwegian state had not violated a passage of the Norwegian constitution known as an environmental paragraph by allowing new oil wells. Judge Borgar Høgetveit Berg explained that the paragraph could not be interpreted as desired by environmentalists.

The judges were also unable to find violations of the European Convention on Human Rights or procedural errors in the approval process by the state. Four judges objected to the point of procedural error.

In 2016, Norway permitted new oil wells in the Arctic Barents Sea for the first time in 20 years - according to Greenpeace, almost at the same time as the Norwegian ratification of the World Climate Agreement in Paris. In the same year, the environmentalists filed a lawsuit: Greenpeace, the environmental protection organization Natur & Jugend and two support groups accused the state of having violated Paragraph 112 of the Norwegian Constitution, according to which the people had a right to a healthy environment, by allowing the drilling have. They hoped that the process would not only result in a ban on oil drilling in the Arctic, but also set a precedent for climate action around the world.

The Norwegian government, however, took the view that the decision had gone through the political processes thoroughly and was constitutional. Both the District Court in Oslo and the Borgarting Court of Appeal had agreed with the state. As a result, the environmentalists went to the Supreme Court.

dpa / acr / LTO editorial team