Norway Gets Defensive About its Arctic Exploration

The Fossil of the Day Award goes to Norway for defending continued Arctic oil exploration in court.

Imagine if you will, a wonderful place filled with beautiful fjords, super cozy knitted sweaters, and 5.2 million really happy people. This place does everything amazingly well! In fact, their oil is cleaner and safer, and they are better equipped to keep it flowing for generations to come!

Wait, what?!

In the not so far future, tomorrow morning in fact, the first of seven court days begins in Oslo. There, the government of Norway will defend (to environmental organizations) their decision – made less than six months after signing the Paris Agreement – to allow new oil exploration in the Arctic. More generally, the Norwegian government will defend a delusional fairy tale spun by the oil industry.

It’s clear that the world’s oil and gas reserves already in development will take us to 1.5°C. Unfortunately, Norway is far from alone in their hypocrisy in continuing fossil fuel exploration and extraction. As we continue to see, many countries deliberately refuse to accept the full consequences of the promises made in Paris.

That it is even necessary for environmental organizations in Norway to sue the government, in the first place, is a clear example of a country neglecting the fundamental principle of common but differentiated responsibility.

Come on Norway, time to spin your own tale – one of renewables and transitions! No one is better equipped than you!


About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1100 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 working to promote government and individual action to limit human induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. 

About the Fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (, members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations or in the implementation of the Paris Agreement

Fossil Norway COP 23

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