Two environmental NGOs are seeking a declaratory judgment from the Oslo District Court that Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy violated the Norwegian constitution by issuing a block of oil and gas licenses for deep-sea extraction from sites in the Barents Sea. Their petition highlights several key factual points:
-- the licenses would allow access to as-yet undeveloped fossil fuel deposits, and such development is inconsistent with the climate change mitigation required to avert global warming of 1.5°C and possibly even 2°C in excess of pre-industrial levels;
-- the area made accessible by the licenses would be the northernmost yet developed, and would abut the ice zone—thus rigs and tankers would be exposed to unprecedented risks of damage and spills, and their operation would deliver emissions of black carbon to the highly sensitive arctic; and
-- the Norwegian government will incur costs to develop the sites, and will only recoup those costs if the oil and gas they produce commands and adequately high market price.
It situates these points in a legal context shaped most fundamentally by article 112 of the Norwegian Constitution, which establishes a “right to an environment that is conducive to health and to a natural environment whose productivity and diversity are maintained.” Other constitutional provisions cited in the petition as relevant to the licensing decision include those requiring government action to be consistent with: the precautionary principle; the no harm principle as it applies both domestically and to citizens of other countries; and human rights protections.
|10/18/2016||Petition||Download||No summary available.|