Young Friends of the Earth Norway is taking on big oil…again!
Together with Greenpeace they are taking the Norwegian state to the European Court of Human Rights. This is the first case of its kind to bring a human rights charge against oil and gas production specifically. The Norwegian young people will argue that Norway’s oil expansion is in violation of human rights.
A victory could have implications both for climate policy in Norway and for the many other ongoing legal battles for adequate climate action.
“The allowance of new oil drilling in vulnerable areas in the Barents Sea is a violation of Articles 2 and 8 in the European Convention on Human Rights, granting me the right to be protected against decisions endangering my life and well-being. As a young person from the Sea Sámi culture, I fear the impact that climate change will have on my people’s way of life. The Sámi culture is closely related to the use of nature, and fisheries are essential. For our culture to continue without the traditional harvesting of the oceans would be impossible. A threat to our oceans is a threat to our people.”
Lasse Eriksen Bjørn, one of the applicants
The individual applicants include six young activists: Ingrid Skjoldvær (27), Gaute Eiterjord (25), Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen (23), Mia Cathryn Chamberlain (22), Lasse Bjørn (24), and Gina Gylver (20).
This case follows the People vs. Arctic Oil case in which Natur og Ungdom/Young Friends of the Earth Norway took their government through all levels of the Norwegian court system. In that lawsuit the plaintiffs argued that granting new licenses to drill for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea contravenes the Paris climate agreement and violates the right to a safe and healthy environment for current and future generations.
The People vs. Arctic Oil case was ultimately unsuccessful, but the young people have not given up and will now soon be back in court again.