According to Reuters, the groups claim that Norway's decision contravenes local and international law, citing article 112 of Norway’s constitution. This article guarantees the right of current and future generations to a healthy and sustainable environment, as well as the 2016 Paris climate agreement to reduce global warming.
Cathrine Hambro, a lawyer representing the green groups, noted that there were more petroleum resources discovered than what could be exploited without breaking compliance with the Paris goal.
On the other hand, Attorney General Fredrik Sejersted, defending the state in the appeal, told the court that Norway's decision to grant exploration rights is complying with the law.
If the groups win at the appeals court, they could establish a precedent for other climate cases worldwide, limiting exploration by Western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer, according to the.
Currently, oil and gas accounts for more than half of the value of Norway’s exports, helping making its $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund into the world’s largest.
During 2018, the Oslo District court said the 23rd licensing round that granted offshore exploration rights to companies including Equinor and Chevron was legal. However, since then Chevron has left Norway.