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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today a historic lawsuit was announced by a coalition of Norwegian non-governmental organizations, including Nature & Youth and Greenpeace Nordic, against the country’s government for its recent licensing rounds opening new areas of its portion of the Arctic Ocean to offshore drilling. The plaintiffs argue that Norway is violating the Paris climate agreement and the Norwegian people’s constitutional right to a clean and safe environment for future generations. Norway’s government has expanded its efforts to drill in the Arctic at a time when a groundbreaking study last year in the top journal Nature specifically identified Arctic drilling as being incompatible with global efforts to limit average global warming to 2 °C, the uppermost limit agreed to in the Paris climate agreement, which Norway has ratified. Several leading American environmental non-governmental organizations, including the League of Conservation Voters, recently sent a letter to Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien criticizing the country’s moves to open new areas to Arctic exploration, which are out of step with recent actions and statements by other Arctic nations discouraging Arctic drilling.
In response to the lawsuit, LCV Deputy Legislative Director Alex Taurel issued the following statement:
“Scientists have done the math, and we simply cannot drill and burn the oil and gas in the Arctic and still leave our children and grandchildren a planet that is not damaged beyond repair from climate change. Norway’s moves to expand Arctic drilling are out of step with the country’s own environmental track record, including its early ratification of the Paris climate agreement, as well as with recent actions and statements by other Arctic nations, including the United States, that discourage Arctic drilling. We hope Norway will abandon this effort and signal to the world that it is truly committed to meeting our moral obligation to address climate change.”