Environmental activists asked a Norwegian court on Thursday to halt the development of three offshore oil and gas fields, arguing that in approving them, Norway has violated the constitution and didn’t take into account their environmental impact.
The new climate lawsuits against Norway come a day after the government approved the development of 19 offshore oil and gas projects worth more than $18.5 billion (200 billion Norwegian crowns) in investments. The projects include new developments, additional development of producing oil and gas fields, and investments to increase resource recovery in producing fields. The projects are being led by Aker BP, Equinor, Wintershall Dea, and OMV.
In the lawsuits filed with the Oslo district court today, Greenpeace Norway and Natur og Ungdom (Nature and Youth) say they believe the development of the three new oil and gas fields, Equinor’s Breidablikk and Aker BP’s Yggdrasil and Tyrving in the North Sea, hasn’t taken into account the impact on climate and future generations and violate a Supreme Court ruling from 2020 that required the government to assess global impacts on the environment from field developments. The Supreme Court issued this ruling when it dismissed a previous attempt by campaigners to halt Arctic drilling offshore Norway. The environmentalists sued Norway in 2017 for violating the constitutional rights of its citizens to a healthy environment by awarding oil drilling licenses in the Arctic.
In today’s lawsuits, Greenpeace and Nature and Youth argue that the assessment of the global climate impacts of the fields has been either non-existent or extremely insufficient.
“The government defies climate science and our own Supreme Court when it allows new oil fields without investigating whether these are compatible with a livable environment,” Frode Pleym, head of Greenpeace Norway, said in a statement.
Following Wednesday’s approval of 19 oil and gas development projects, Greenpeace Norway tweeted “Listen up, Norway: There is no room for a single new oil, gas or coal field in the world. New projects violate our right to a healthy environment.”
Norway pursues development on its shelf and says more oil and gas will create jobs and value for Norway and contribute to Europe’s energy security. Norway is now the single biggest supplier of natural gas to Europe after Russia cut off most pipeline deliveries following the invasion of Ukraine.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.