Climate activists target Norway’s Arctic oil plans
Plaintiffs tell European human rights court the country’s drilling is a threat to their future
Nerijus AdomaitisGreenpeace protesters shut down a Shell petrol station during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Picture: REUTERSOslo — Norwegian climate activists have asked the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to rule against the country’s plans for more oil drilling in the Arctic, arguing that its exploration deprives young people of their future.
The lawsuit, by six individuals aged between 20 and 27 as well as Greenpeace and Young Friends of the Earth, is part of an emerging branch of law worldwide where plaintiffs go to court to make the case for curbing emissions that cause climate change.In the Netherlands, a court recently ordered Shell to cut its emissions in a lawsuit brought by citizens who argued that the Anglo-Dutch oil company violated their human rights.
“The environmentalists argue that, by allowing new oil drilling in the midst of a climate crisis, Norway is in breach of fundamental human rights”” the campaigners said in a statement.Three courts in Norway have previously ruled in favour of the government, however, including in a verdict by the supreme court last December, thus exhausting domestic legal options. headtopics.com
“We have to take action now to limit irreversible damage to our climate and ecosystems to ensure livelihoods for the coming generations,” said Ella Marie Haetta Isaksen, 23, one of the activists who asked the ECHR to take up the Norwegian case.Lasse Eriksen Bjoern, 24, an activist from the indigenous Sami people of northern Norway, said climate change was already endangering a way of life.
“The Sami culture is closely related to the use of nature, and fisheries are essential,” he said. “A threat to our oceans is a threat to our people.” The ECHR’s rules require applicants to be directly and personally affected by alleged violations, while its judgments are binding for the countries concerned.
The court must now decide whether the case, billed by the activists as “the People vs. Arctic Oil”, is admissible.Norway, Western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer with a daily output of about 4m bbl of oil equivalent, said last week it planned to continue current petroleum policies.Read more: Business Day »
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Climate activists target Norway’s Arctic oil plansPlaintiffs tell European human rights court the country’s drilling is a threat to their future
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