Greenpeace Lose Norway Oil Case
Feb 10 2020 Read 207 Times
In a major blow for one of the world's most prominent environmental organisations, Greenpeace has lost an attempt to stop Norway from expanding oil exploration operations in the Arctic region. A ruling from an Oslo appeals court shut down opposition from the non-governmental group, which operates in more than 55 countries.
Greenpeace is arguing that increased activity in the Arctic will violate Article 112 of the country's constitution, which safeguards the right of Norwegian citizen to a healthy and sustainable environment. The group has confirmed that it plans to appeal the case in the supreme court and continue to fight against the 10 Arctic exploration awards made to global energy mogul Equinor.
Greenpeace fights to protect the Barents Sea
Three of the awards approved activity in the southeast corner of the Barents Sea, a portion of the Arctic Ocean set off the northern coasts of Norway and Russia. While a series of exploratory wells have already been drilled in the area, no major discoveries have been made. Greenpeace argues that further exploration in the Arctic will have a negative impact on Norway's environmental and marine health. This would jeopardise environmental integrity for both current and future generations, which directly clashes with Article 112.
Environmental activism underpinned by founding principles
The organisation's request for an appeal has been granted, with Greenpeace Norway chief Frode Pleym saying, "The court's verdict is a big step in the right direction, and the reason is that the right to a healthy environment according to the constitution is acknowledged by the court of appeal." Greenpeace isn't the only organisation using the founding principles of a country as a catalyst for environmental activism, with the past few years seeing a surge in the number of climate-related lawsuits around the world.
While Greenpeace won't step aside lightly, Norway's energy ministry was happy with the verdict, releasing a statement reading "The court agrees with the state that the Barents Sea petroleum activity does not contravene the constitution.”
Oil exploration operations aren't the only concern on the Greenpeace radar, with coal mining and burning also a top priority. The organisation claims coal is one of the biggest drivers of global climate change, releasing toxic sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) into the atmosphere. For a closer look at how the energy industry is working to minimise its environmental footprint by analysing the chemical composition of coal, don't miss 'Deformulation and Comparison Analysis of Coals Using Multiple Modes of Pyrolysis-GC/MS' featuring expert commentary from Frontier Laboratories.
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