Failed Climate Action Against Norway: A Fundamental Right to a Clean Environment – Politics

Failed Climate Action Against Norway: A Fundamental Right to a Clean Environment - Politics

Norway has one of the highest living standards in the world. This is the 2020 Annual Report of the United Nations Human Development Report (UNDP). This barometer measures a country’s values ​​in the areas of health, education and quality of life. More recently, climate change emissions of carbon dioxide and raw material consumption have also been measured.

These two additional indicators have not yet affected the top position of the oil-rich welfare state. On the other hand, they are already putting pressure on Germany’s position. It slipped from fourth to sixth in the rankings, now behind Norway, Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Iceland.

Something may change in the model country, Norway. What has just happened at the national level is affecting many people who are wondering how environmental and climate protection can be better achieved.

In contrast to most countries, the Norwegian Constitution (Article 112) guarantees the right to an environment “for all” that is “conducive to health and the natural environment.” With this promise, four NGOs, including Greenpeace, filed a climate lawsuit in the Oslo Supreme Court in 2016 against the licensing of more oil wells in the Arctic Barents Sea. They argued that this extra oil-and-gas search in the Arctic would not achieve the Paris climate goals and would not protect future generations.

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A few days ago the case was voted on by eleven to four Rejected. The court found no violation of the Constitution because each country is only responsible for its own harmful CO2 emissions, and these are not significantly increased by licensing promotions. It has nothing to do with global climate goals.

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The approach seems like a weather-related lockdown

With this ruling, Norwegian activists among climate protection activists around the world are frustrated because it means that the global trend of implementing climate protection as a basic human right with legal means will fail. At the beginning of the year, climate activists and environmental associations in Germany filed constitutional suits for violating the current climate protection law (Article 2, the right to life). But what would be the desired and unwanted consequences of living such a ubiquitous law, for example, for the economy and for everyday life? Although everyone is united in their desire for effective climate protection, this approach is like a lockdown down on climate change rather than new ideas and technological advances for more climate protection.

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