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Norwegian activists protest against the new oil exploration licences in the Arctic

A group of environmental activists chained themselves in front of the Norwegian oil and energy ministry on Thursday to protest against the awarding of new oil exploration licences in the Arctic, The globe and mail informs.

Carrying banners that said “No to new oil” and “Norwegian oil is boiling the planet” three campaigners sat in chains in front of the entry to the ministry from about 0600 GMT as ministry workers arrived for work.

Norway on Wednesday awarded four exploration licences to seven oil companies, including three for the Arctic Barents Sea, although fewer oil companies applied for the permits than in previous licensing rounds.

“We’re demonstrating here today because Norway is keeping on handing out new oil licences even though we’re in the midst of a climate crisis,” said demonstrator Halvard Raavand, 30, wearing an “oil free Arctic” black face mask.

Earlier, demonstrators glued images of individuals carrying slogans such as “keep the oil in the ground” on the windows of the ministry.

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Norwegian climate activists sue their country for drilling Arctic Oil

Norwegian climate activists have asked the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to rule against Norway’s plans for more oil drilling in the Arctic, the campaigners said on Tuesday, arguing the country’s exploration deprives young people of their future, Financial post informs.

The lawsuit, by six individuals aged between 20 and 27 as well as Greenpeace and Young Friends of the Earth, is part of an emerging branch of law worldwide where plaintiffs go to court to make the case for curbing emissions that cause climate change.

In the Netherlands, a court recently ordered Shell to cut its emissions in a lawsuit brought by citizens who argued that the Anglo-Dutch oil major violated their human rights.

“The environmentalists argue that, by allowing new oil drilling in the midst of a climate crisis, Norway is in breach of fundamental human rights,” the campaigners said in a statement announcing their appeal to the ECHR.

Three courts in Norway have previously ruled in favor of the government, however, including in a verdict by the supreme court last December, thus exhausting domestic legal options.

“We have to take action now to limit irreversible damage to our climate and ecosystems to ensure livelihoods for the coming generations,” said Ella Marie Haetta Isaksen, 23, one of the activists who asked the ECHR to take up the Norwegian case.

Lasse Eriksen Bjoern, 24, an activist from the indigenous Sami people of northern Norway, said climate change was already endangering a way of life.

“The Sami culture is closely related to the use of nature, and fisheries are essential … A threat to our oceans is a threat to our people,” he said.

The ECHR’s rules require applicants to be directly and personally affected by alleged violations, while its judgments are binding for the countries concerned.

The court must now decide whether the case, billed by the activists as “the People vs. Arctic Oil,” is admissible.

Norway, western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer with a daily output of around 4 million barrels of oil equivalent, said last week it planned to continue current petroleum policies. (Editing by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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Population of Green sea turtles is increasing in Pacific coral reefs

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