Are Norwegian Arctic oil drilling at risk?
The long battle of climate activists against Norway to stop oil drilling in the Arctic ends in court. And not just any court but the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which asked Norway to answer charges. At the end of 2020, the Norwegian Supreme Court voted by a majority of 11 to 4 to dismiss a lawsuit brought by environmental groups that had sued Norway for opening the surface in the Arctic to oil drilling years ago. In 2016, environmental organizations, including the Norwegian branch of Greenpeace and Natur og Ungdom (Nature and Youth), took the Norwegian government to court for the award of oil drilling licenses in the Arctic, arguing that these 2015 licenses should have been withdrawn in violation of the Norwegian Constitution and the country’s commitment to comply with the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement. The European Court of Human Rights is now asking for a reply to the Norwegian Government by 13 April.