Save the Arctic Campaign

By Renee Andersen, Progressive Americans Action League

Progressive Americans Action League (PAAL), an affiliate of Progressive Action Global Exchange (PAGE), has been working on the Save the Arctic campaign by supporting Greenpeace Norway and the climate lawsuit heading to the Oslo district court this month.

For the first time in 20 years, the Norwegian government is opening a new oil frontier in the Arctic, escalating the pressure on the climate and putting homes and families in danger globally. This new round of licensing violates the Norwegian constitution—ensuring a safe and healthy environment for future generations—and undermines the Paris Agreement.

While the U.S. Congress begin hearings this month to discuss opening up the Arctic to fossil fuel companies, Norway opened Arctic oil exploration last summer. Greenpeace Norway and Nature & Youth are taking the Norwegian government to court in a historic lawsuit with proceedings beginning on November 14th.

The impacts of climate change are felt around the world. Poorer countries often carry most of the burden because they do not have the resources to recover from climate disasters fueled by man-made global warming. Rising seawaters, massive flooding, extreme heat, extended droughts, expansive wildfires, melting glaciers, thawing permafrost—all of which harm communities around the world. These humanitarian disasters are connected to the release of carbon emissions by human activity.

The Paris Agreement, signed and ratified by the Norwegian government, was a global effort to ambitiously combat climate change by asking States to put forth their best efforts to keep global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius.  After Norway signed the Agreement, they began handing out more oil licenses for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic.  This directly undermines the global commitment agreed to in the Paris Agreement.

Climate lawsuits are a new strategy being used by environmental activists and organizations. U.S. economist and U.N. special adviser, Jeffrey Sachs, advocates people seek climate justice through legal action. Going through the judicial system may be the most effective way to challenge the fossil fuel industry and the governments that put oil profits over people. Global climate lawsuits have been launched in 12 different countries, including the United States.

Take Action Now! Here is how you can help:

  • Sign this petition to Save the Arctic and support the climate lawsuit going to court in Oslo this November.
  • Sign our open letter to the Norwegian oil and energy minister, which will be posted on our Facebook Page soon.
  • Follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter
  • Listen to the Unburnable podcast with updates about the climate case.
  • Learn more about Our Children’s Trust, the climate lawsuit initiated by kids here and sign the petition to support their movement here. Find out if your country is participating in an associated lawsuit, and get in touch to see how you can help!
Norway
An ice sculpture outside the Oslo Courthouse with the section of the Norwegian Constitution (112) that states citizens have a right to a healthy and safe environment and this includes rights for future generations. The text of the clause reads: 
“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.”

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