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OIL

France strikes oil deal with new Libyan regime: report

France has secured a deal with Libya's rebel interim rulers to exploit a third of the country's oil reserves, the daily Liberation reported on Thursday, citing a letter to the emir of Qatar.

Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said he “had no knowledge” of a “formal accord” but it was “logical” that countries like France which helped the National Transitional Council take power should take part in reconstruction.  

Liberation said a letter from the NTC dated April 3 informed the emir, another major backer of the revolt, of a deal “to assign 35 percent of crude oil to France in exchange for its total and permanent support of our Council.”  

The report was an embarrassment for France as it prepared to host later on Thursday a meeting of world leaders and senior officials dubbed “friends of Libya” to win recognition for the NTC and its interim rule in Libya.  

On August 29, the Italian oil giant ENI signed its own deal with the NTC to restart its oil production in Libya and restart a major gas pipeline running from the Libyan oil fields under the Mediterranean to Italy.

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OIL

NGOs take Norway to European Court over Arctic oil exploration

Two NGOs and six young climate activists have decided to take Norway to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to demand the cancellation of oil permits in the Arctic, Greenpeace announced on Tuesday.

NGOs take Norway to European Court over Arctic oil exploration
Northern Norway. Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash.

It’s the latest turn in a legal tussle between environmental organisations Greenpeace and Young Friends of the Earth Norway on one side and the Norwegian state on the other.

The organisations are demanding the government cancel 10 oil exploration licenses in the Barents Sea awarded in 2016, arguing it was unconstitutional.

Referring to the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the organisations claim that the oil licenses violated article 112 of Norway’s constitution, guaranteeing everyone the right to a healthy environment.”

The six activists, alongside Greenpeace Nordic and Young Friends of the Earth Norway, hope that the European Court of Human Rights will hear their case and find that Norway’s oil expansion is in breach of human rights,” Greenpeace said in a statement.

In December, Norway’s Supreme Court rejected the claim brought by the organisations, their third successive legal defeat.

READ MORE: Norway sees oil in its future despite IEA’s warnings¬†

While most of the judges on the court agreed that article 112 could be invoked if the state failed to meet its climate and environmental obligations– they did not think it was applicable in this case.

The court also held that the granting of oil permits was not contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights, in part because they did not represent “a real and immediate risk” to life and physical integrity.

“The young activists and the environmental organisations argue that this judgment was flawed, as it discounted the significance of their environmental constitutional rights and did not take into account an accurate assessment of the consequences of climate change for the coming generations,” Greenpeace said.

On Friday, the Norwegian government unveiled a white paper on the country’s energy future, which still includes oil exploration despite a warning from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The IEA recently warned that all future fossil fuel projects must be scrapped if the world is to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Norwegian case is an example of a global trend in which climate activists are increasingly turning to courts to pursue their agenda.

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