Norway Awarded Anti-Climate Prize for Drilling Oil in the Arctic
One day before the Norwegian state had to appear in court in order to defend its decision to allow more oil drilling in the Arctic, Norway was awarded the anti-climate prize ‘Fossil of the Day’ during a climate summit in Bonn. – Well deserved, according to the Norwegian climate movement.
The international Climate Action Network Monday awarded Norway the ‘Fossil of the Day’ award. The network argues that Norway is violating the Paris Agreement through allowing petroleum drilling in vulnerable Arctic areas.
- The Norwegian state permitted new exploration in the Arctic only weeks after signing the Paris Agreement. They keep drilling for oil and supply the world with an increasing amount of fossil fuels while pretending to be environmentally conscious heroes in international negotiations. This is paradoxical, says Truls Gulowsen, President of Greenpeace Norway.
Young Friends of the Earth Norway and Greenpeace are suing the Norwegian state, represented by the Ministry of Oil and Energy, for violating the Paris Agreement as well as section 112 of the Norwegian Constitution, which states that the State shall secure future generations’ right to a safe environment.
This is the first time that the Constitution’s section 112, also known as the ‘environmental section’, is tried in court and the trial started in Oslo District Court yesterday. The main negotiations in this civil suit will run until 23 November.
The environmental organizations demand that the decision to award ten new exploration licenses in the Barents Sea, which were awarded in June 2010 at the 23rd round of licenses, be found invalid. Three of these licenses are for areas located in a newly opened area in the southeastern Barents Sea.
The historic oil case raises a lot of engagement, and the environmental organizations could by the end of last August tell that they had received more than NOK 500,000 (€ 50,000) in support donations for their civil lawsuit from a thousand different supporters.
Skjoldvær: - Completely failed
The supporters include the organisation Grandparents’ Climate Action, which according to Oslo District Court is a co-intervener for the plaintiffs.
- The climate lawsuit emphasizes the serious consequences of the Norwegian government’s climate policies. The government has a lot of empty phrases, however, it has not followed up with actions in that are in accordance with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Oil drilling in the Arctic does not go hand-in-hand with the 1.5 degrees goal. Despite Norway’s attempts to present itself as a lead actor in climate policies, this is a complete fail. The ‘Fossil of the day’ award is proof to this, says Ingrid Skjoldvær, President of Young Friends of the Earth Norway.
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