Lawyer Cathrine Hambro in Advokatfirma Wahl-Larsen litigates The Climate Lawsuit on the behalf of Greenpeace

The Climate Lawsuit

Lawyer Cathrine Hambro of the Wahl-Larsen Law Firm is counsel for the complainants Greenpeace and Nature and Youth in the climate lawsuit against the Norwegian government. Lawyer Emanuel Feinberg of the Glittertind Law Firm is also counsel for the same parties.

The question in the case is whether 10 extraction permits for petroleum extraction awarded in the 23rd licensing round are in violation of Article 112 of the Norwegian Constitution, which stipulates that every person has the right to an environment that is conducive to health and to a natural environment whose productivity and diversity are maintained. The government has contested that Article 112 of the Constitution is a rights provision that can be invoked in the way our parties have done in this case.

Norway's largest contribution to CO2 emissions is from the petroleum industry. It is documented and internationally recognized that petroleum resources in the world exceed what can be extracted, within both the 2-degree and the 1.5-degree goal. Nevertheless, the allocation of production licences for non-proven resources continues
in particularly vulnerable areas of the Arctic.

Oslo District Court gave its decision in the case on the 4th of January 2018. The court held that Article 112 of the Constitution is a rights provision that may be invoked and enforced by the courts. However, the conclusion was that the issuing of the 10 production licenses did not violate this right.

Oslo District Court’s ruling has been appealed and the appeal proceedings for the Borgarting Court of Appeal will be conducted from the 5th to the 14th of November 2019. The case will be tried again in full.

Hambro has worked with environmental issues for many years and is today one of Norway’s leading lawyers in environmental law.

Read more about advokat Cathrine Hambro here.

The climate lawsuit has been widely discussed in Norwegian and foreign press. Here are a selection of updates:

Saken er omtalt på Oslo tingretts nyhetsside 10. november 2017.