ExxonMobil Would Face Trial Over Climate Change Denial

Published on:
by KnowESG,

Exxon Mobil

KnowESG_Climate_change
Picture of ExxonMobil's alleged promotion of climate change denial, with significant implications for company accountability on climate change

The Massachusetts High Court recently declared that ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil and gas firm and previously the world's most valuable public company, must face trial for its efforts to deny climate change.

The Massachusetts attorney general has charged ExxonMobil with violating consumer protection laws and misleading "investors about the risks to its business posed by global warming."

Global warming-induced sea level rise is pushing cities to build sea barriers, and firms are lying about the carbon impact of their products.

The third instalment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCCcurrent )'s report, released in April, also highlighted that fossil fuel industries are stifling climate action, particularly in countries like the United States.

It emphasises that these corporations "have attempted to derail climate change mitigation through targeted lobbying and doubt-inducing media methods," "have attempted to divert corporate responsibility to individuals," and campaigned to "keep producer subsidies," among other things.

Since the 1970s, ExxonMobil executives have been aware of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions caused by oil use. This was highlighted in a presentation by company scientist James F Black, as well as the fact that CO2 levels in the atmosphere were causing global warming.

It interfered with the work of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the 1990s, pressing for the inclusion of scientists who disagreed with climate science results.

It also provided funding to climate denial organisations that worked to oppose climate action within the US government. ExxonMobil continues to exert influence on lawmakers, obstructing US Vice President Joe Biden's decarbonisation agenda.

Their most recent technique has been to divert focus away from specific customers. Harvard academics discovered that the oil giant's marketing "managed to transfer blame for global change away from the fossil fuel business and onto customers" in a study published in the journal One Earth in 2021. By doing so, it minimises its contribution to the climate catastrophe and continues to "undermine climate litigation, regulation, and advocacy."

Source: DownToEarth

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