NORWAY

  Photo: Martin de Lusenet

Photo: Martin de Lusenet

LEGAL UPDATES

June 2018

In January 2018, the Oslo District Court dismissed the constitutional climate lawsuit filed by young people against the Norwegian government for allowing oil companies to drill for new oil in the Norwegian Arctic. The Court found that Article 112 of the Norwegian Constitution created an enforceable fundamental right to a healthy environment, but that this right did not apply to harms stemming from the greenhouse gas emissions of fossil fuels extracted within Norway but combusted elsewhere. In February 2018 the plaintiffs announced their appeal of the District Court's decision, the hearing date for which is currently pending.

October 18, 2016 

Youth file lawsuit against Norwegian government over Arctic oil 

Young people filed a constitutional climate lawsuit against the Norwegian government for allowing oil companies to drill for new oil in the Arctic Barents Sea, endangering young people and future generations with more climate pollution. The plaintiffs, Nature and Youth – the largest youth-led organization in Norway – and Greenpeace Norway, argue that Norway has violated citizens’ and future generations’ constitutional right to a healthy environment, joining youth around the world who are taking actions against their governments.

Read the press release. 

Read the writ of summons (complaint). 

January 19, 2016

OCT executive director, Julia Olson gave an address at the Climate Festival Norwegian activists, lawyers, judge, and other members of civil society in support of enforcing Article 112 of the Norwegian Constitution. 

May 13, 2014

The Norwegian Parliament amended the Constitution, emphasizing the affirmative duty of the government to protect the constitutional, public trust rights of young people and future generations to a livable climate and environment. Article 112 of the Constitution (formerly Article 110b) states:

"Every person has a right to an environment that is conducive to health and to a natural environment whose productivity and diversity are maintained.
Natural resources should be managed on the basis of comprehensive long-term considerations whereby this right will be safeguarded for future generations as well.
In order to safeguard their right in accordance with the foregoing paragraph, citizens are entitled to information on the state of the natural environment and on the effects of any encroachment on nature that is planned or carried out.
The authorities of the State shall issue specific provisions for the implementation of these principles."

Our Children’s Trust and partner attorneys from around the world helped inspire the work of a top team of Norwegian legal scholars, lawyers, and activists who accomplished securing public trust principles and climate rights into the constitutional amendment.