U.S. Environmental Groups Demand Norway Halt Arctic Drilling

Arctic Nations Must Commit to Paris Agreement

October 11, 2016

For immediate release

Washington, DC – Several environmental organizations sent a letter to Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien today to urge the Norwegian government to halt its pursuit of Arctic offshore oil drilling on the grounds of climate change.

The letter comes against the backdrop of Norway’s recent ratification of the UN climate agreement in Paris in December 2015 and points to recent actions  and statements by other Arctic nations, including Russia, Canada, and the US, to slow or halt Arctic drilling in their respective waters. It also pointed to the potential for the US, which is considering the Five Year Program on Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling 2017-2022, to continue on its trajectory of action to protect the Arctic and act on climate change by taking the Arctic Ocean off the table.

“Now is the moment for Norway to walk the talk of the Paris climate agreement, which your nation laudably was one of the first to ratify. … We therefore urge Norway to honor its reputation as an environmental leader by withdrawing the licenses from the 23rd licensing round and canceling the 24th licensing round,” the letter said, pointing to Norway’s recent moves toward expanded Arctic drilling.

The text of the letter can be found here.

Alaska Wilderness League, Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, Greenpeace USA, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Oil Change International, Ocean Conservation Research, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, and Natural Resources Defense Council all signed the letter asking the Norwegian government to halt Arctic offshore oil exploration and development.

Contact: Cassady Sharp, [email protected] , 828-817-3328

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