Norway court acquits government sued by green groups

A court in Norway says the Norwegian government can hand out oil drilling licenses in the Arctic, dealing a blow to two environmental groups which had filed a lawsuit against further drilling in the Barents Sea.

The Oslo District Court acquitted the government against charges from Nature and Youth and Greenpeace Nordic that drilling for oil and gas in Arctic waters would be in violation with the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Norwegian constitution.

The groups had sued Norway's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in an attempt to invalidate the latest round of 10 production licenses in the Barents Sea on the edge of the Arctic Ocean.

The court said Thursday the groups should pay legal expenses worth 580,000 kroner ($71,435)