Green groups push Norway court to take oil & gas emissions into account

Environmental groups have urged a Norwegian appeals court to take emissions from the country’s oil and gas exports into account when ruling on the government’s decision in 2016 to allow oil firms to explore in Arctic waters, reports Reuters.

Last year a lower court dismissed a lawsuit against the Norwegian state by Greenpeace and Norway’s Nature and Youth in 2018.

Citing article 112 of the Norwegian constitution the groups argued the government’s decision contravened local and international law. Article 112 guarantees the right of current and future generations to a healthy and sustainable environment.

The groups also cited the 2016 Paris climate agreement to limit global warming.

“Norway must stop looking for all oil,” said Frode Pleym, head of Greenpeace Norway.

Cathrine Hambro, a lawyer representing the green groups, said there were already more petroleum resources discovered than could be exploited without breaching the Paris goals, which were agreed before the government granted the exploration licenses.

Attorney General Fredrik Sejersted, who is defending the state in the appeal, told the court the government’s decision to grant exploration rights was in full compliance with the law.

“That might be a political question, that might be a moral question, but not a legal question for this court to consider,” he said, reiterating that Norway did not have legal responsibility for emissions caused by oil and gas exported abroad under domestic or international law.

The appeals court is sitting until November 14th