Legal case filed as oil giant exits NZ for Arctic


An unprecedented legal case has been filed this week against the Norwegian government for allowing oil companies including state-owned Statoil to drill for new oil in the Arctic.

The legal case was filed by Nature and Youth, the largest environmentalist youth organisation in Norway and Greenpeace Nordic. Both agencies argue that Norway is violating the Paris Agreement and the people’s constitutional right to a healthy and safe environment for future generations.

The case comes only days after Statoil pulled the plug on its New Zealand operations in Northland, and just before a visit by Norway’s indigenous Sámi parliment, who are meeting with iwi around the country to discuss Statoil’s presence here.

‘Stiff resistance’

The Sámi visit follows a Māori delegation to Norway last year, who met with Sámi people and attended the annual Statoil shareholders meeting to put the owners on notice that their investment in Aotearoa would be met by stiff resistance.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate campaigner and lawyer, Kate Simcock, said the case could have implications around the world.

“With the success of the Urgenda climate case against the Dutch Government, and now this, we’re seeing that it’s possible for ordinary people and smart legal tactics to hold governments to account on their plans to tackle climate change.”

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