This decision by Norway makes a mockery of its green role model status

Support us and go ad-free

Campaigners have filed a lawsuit against Norway over plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.

Norway betrays its constitution

An alliance including youth groups, indigenous activists and Greenpeace maintains that this decision to open up the Barents Sea – located off the northern coasts of Norway – for oil exploration violates Norway’s constitution. Article 112 gives the people of Norway a legal right to a healthy, diverse and productive climate and environment. The Norwegian government must do everything in its power to guarantee this right.

Norway remains one of the very few countries that makes legal provisions for unborn citizens, which shows how central the environment is in the constitution’s scope of concern.

But the Norwegian government stands accused of betraying its constitution by handing out licenses to 13 oil companies, allowing exploratory wells to be opened in the Barents Sea. These plans could see Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg appear before an Oslo city court.

Charges of hypocrisy

Truls Gulowsen, director of Greenpeace Norway, said:

Signing an international climate agreement while throwing open the door to Arctic oil drilling is a dangerous act of hypocrisy. By allowing oil companies to drill in the Arctic, Norway risks undermining global efforts to address climate change.

The charges of hypocrisy are based not just on Article 112, but also on Norway’s eco-friendly projects. These include the country’s pledge to be climate neutral by 2030, its reliance on hydropower, and its plans to ban petrol-powered cars by 2025.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

If accusations of a constitutional U-turn and hypocrisy don’t degrade the country’s reputation as a green role model, its threat to a vital climate agreement might.

When will the Paris climate deal be taken seriously?

The alliance bringing this case to court claims that by opening up wells in the Arctic in 2017, Norway threatens the Paris climate agreement’s goal of keeping global warming to 1.5C.

Norway is not the first country to turn its back on the objectives of this historic deal. The UN has criticised the UK and Germany for backtracking on the spirit of the deal by subsidising the fossil fuel industry rather than renewable energy. Indeed, the UK has delayed ratifying the deal, while the US and China jointly did so.

But there are no penalties, except public shaming, for countries that don’t meet their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Given that the deal is not enough to avoid dangerous climate change – just the most catastrophic outcomes – betraying the deal is extremely irresponsible. And Norway will have a lot to answer for if it’s to regain its green role model status.

Get Involved!

– Support Greenpeace

– Check out more stories from The Canary on environmental issues

Featured image via NASA Goddard/Flickr

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed