In Norway, Grandparents Climate Campaign (GCC) collaborates with a wide range of like-minded partners, such as environmental, youth and church organizations, political parties, trade unions, etc. Jointly we take action, voice opinions and create public debate, all in aid of engaging ever more voters to urge the current Norwegian powers to implement the kind of national, constructive and science- based policy that our common Earth desperately needs.
“Your, mine and nature’s law”
GCC has adopted Article 112 of the Norwegian Constitution as the guiding principle for climate action and climate justice. Section 1 of Article 112 guaranties: “Every person has a right to an environment that is conducive to health and to a natural environment whose productivity and diversity are maintained. Natural resources should be managed on the basis of comprehensive long-term considerations whereby this right will be safeguarded for future generations as well.”
The amendment, unanimously adopted by Parliament (Stortinget) in 1992, was revised in 2014, and Section 3 of Article 112 was made more explicit regarding the duty of the Government to implement measures to reinforce the intentions of the Article.
In an effort to make Article 112 more commonly known, Grandparents Climate Campaign and partner Miljøagentene The Eco-agents (an environmental organization for Norwegian children) produced a four-page pamphlet about Article 112, entitled “YOURS, MINE AND NATURE’S LAW”. The pamphlet was aimed at children and adults, funded by UNESCO Norway, and launched countrywide on June 5, UN’s World Day of the Environment. It was presented to all members of Parliament and the Government, and distributed to pupils in secondary schools and public libraries across the country.
Our Arctic heritage
Considering that Norway’s geographical position on the rim of the most fragile Arctic gives us Norwegians and concerned grandparents a particular responsibility for guarding and protecting the irreplaceable natural treasures of the Earth’s northern part. Climate change represents a particular threat to the Arctic, and the sad fact of rapidly disappearing sea-ice is eagerly being explored and exploited by international as well as home grown oil industry.
Todays scientific consensus leaves no doubt: most of the world’s known fossil resources must remain in the ground NOW for the sake of future generations’ livable climate. The oil and gas addicted economy of Norway, however, depends on new wells being opened and exploited. We have already emptied the biggest fields in the North Sea, therefore there is a growing pressure to drill in the Arctic regions. They are supposed to contain 20-25 % of the World’s remaining fossil reserves.
Norwegian grandparents demand Statoil out of tar sands
A major concern for Grandparents Climate Campaign is the accelerating tempo of oil exploration and exploitation in the world. The Norwegian Statoil company is at the forefront of an industry that carries high risks for the climate and environment, as well as for vulnerable habitats and societies. The exceptionally damaging and costly business of exploiting tar sands has long been protested in Norway, and demands that Statoil must terminate its dirty oil project in Alberta, Canada keeps mounting. As Statoil is 67 % state owned, the GCC, along with a growing number of organizations, political parties etc, argue that all Norwegians are in fact shareholders, and therefore must be listened to by the government. Year after year, these demands are made by shareholders at the Statoil General Assembly, and there are no signs that the protests against Statoil’s engagement in tar sand will stop.
See letter to Board of Statoil from Norwegian organizations and political parties, once more urging Statoil to withdraw from Canadian tar sand. James Hansen, leading climate scientist and global activist, applauded the Norwegian action on his web page: “Given the stranglehold that the fossil fuel industry has on governments worldwide and their effective campaigns to misinform the public, this may seem to be a small step. But do not underestimate the potential of people dedicated to a righteous cause to initiate a broader public recognition and understanding of where the public’s interest lies.”
Canadians, we apologize!
Norwegian authorities have the power to instruct Statoil to leave Canadian tar sand. So far they have refused to do so, but public concern is growing. The Norwegian campaign is part of a larger and growing international movement aiming to end the gluttonous and harmful exploitation of fossil resources, to avoid accelerating damage to the future of planet Earth. In April 2011, GCC decided to let the Canadian people know that we, as Norwegians, deeply regretted Statoil’s destructive exploitation of the fragile and pristine Canadian nature and homeland of Canadian First People See our protest advertisment in Edmunton Journal, april 2011