Court in Norway to begin hearing appeal to decision that allows Arctic oil exploration

The Bogarting Court of Appeals in Norway will hear appeals from non-profit organisations Greenpeace and Nature and Youth today against

arctic oil norway

Photo: Mitja Kobal/Greenpeace

The Bogarting Court of Appeals in Norway will hear appeals from non-profit organisations Greenpeace and Nature and Youth today against oil drilling in the Barents Sea.

In June 2016, Norway’s Petroleum and Energy Ministry awarded ten exploration licenses to 13 drilling companies to conduct operations in the Barents Sea. The organisations argue the licenses threaten people’s right to a healthy environment. The Oslo District Court ruled in 2018 that the licenses are in accordance with the law, and that Norway is responsible for emissions only within its territory.

Norway faces a trade-off between economic growth and long-term environmental repercussions beyond its borders. As of May 2019, oil and gas account for 22% of Norwegian GDP and 67% of its exports. However, drilling activities in the Barents Sea harm its Paris Agreement targets of reducing emissions by 40% of 1990 levels by 2030. On a much larger scale, explorations in the Arctic region are estimated to result in 12 gigatonnes of carbon emissions over the next 50 years.

It is likely that today’s appeal will be judged along similar lines as the previous ruling—while the people have environmental rights, the licenses are unlikely to be revoked.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.