There have been no cases so far in Norway regarding the authorization of projects leading to ineffective adaptation, probably because Norway has not yet been hit by the most adverse climate change effects. However, the 2018 scorching Norwegian summer prompted many sectors (e.g., farming) on the lookout for new forms of legal ordering (e.g., insurance). Adaptation cases can be hypothesized and would yield to remedies based on compensation measures and/or orders for the authorities to carry out preventive activities and disaster management. For instance, individuals in Norway are entitled to bring cases concerning planning and/or flood resilience infrastructure on procedural grounds (e.g., participation in the EIA process or planning activities) and substantive grounds (e.g., administrative and environmental laws, and the Constitution). In the case of procedural grounds, individuals can bring a case where the interested community was not sufficiently involved within the EIA. The administrative act can also be challenged on the ground of deficiencies of the EIA, for example where climate change considerations have not been duly incorporated in the decision. With respect to substantive grounds, individuals can challenge the administrative act by which the relevant authority made the decision on the enhancement of the flow resilience infrastructure and is deemed not to be in line with scientific projections. The act can be challenged on grounds of reasonableness, if the plaintiffs prove that the project cannot meet the purpose of the act (e.g., protection against coastal erosion). This can also be challenged via Section 112 of the Constitution, if the decision to adapt does not mirror comprehensive long-term considerations nor does it safeguard the right to environment for future generations. Individuals can appeal before administrative bodies if they have a genuine need to have the claim settled.

Additionally, if they can show to have interest, it can be hypothesized that plaintiffs may challenge specific acts implementing the 2012 White Paper on Adaptation. According to the White Paper, everyone in society has a responsibility to allow for climate change adaptation (i.e., individuals, government, and the business and financial sectors). The White Paper was further specified through a most recent report on climate adaptation strategies, which was issued by the Minister for the Environment for the period 2018-2022. Neither document is directly challengeable in court (see above under Scenario 1).

For more country specific context and relevant national climate change law see: 

This country report has been produced by Catherine Hall, C2LI Senior Research Assistant and Esmeralda Colombo, C2LI Legal Analyst.The summary is based on Esmeralda Cololmbo, “Climate Change and the Individual: A Norwegian Perspective” in F. Sindico and M. Moise Mbengue, Comparative Climate Change Litigation: Beyond the Usual Suspects, Springer, 2021.