The Supreme Court of Norway supported the government's intention to develop the oil exploration works in the Barents Sea bed, on the northern coast. At the same time, the legal authority rejected the collective lawsuit filed by Greenpeace and other enviromental protection groups.
Chief Justice Toril Marie Oeie announced the court's verdict on December 22.
"The groups, including Greenpeace, had claimed the oil licenses breached an article in the Norwegian constitution which guarantees the right to a healthy and viable environment (...) The Nature and Youth advocacy group denounced the ruling in a tweet: "This means today's youth lacks fundamental legal protection from environmental damage jeopardizing our future... This is shocking and we are furious." (...) The environmental groups sued the Norwegian state in 2016, saying the "Norwegian government must be held accountable." The Grandparents Climate Campaign and Friends of the Earth Norway subsequently joined the case", Reuters wrote.
Thus, the Supreme Court and the two courts of lower instance declined dismissing the arguments provided by the environment protection groups. They claimed that "the 2015-2016 oil licensing round giving awards to Equinor and others had violated the constitution". The environmental NGOs also state that the oil activities in the region contradict the 2015 Paris climate accord.