climate accountability


Shell sign in gas station
Photo: David Nagy CC-BY-SA-2.0 (Flickr)

Shell Knew About Climate Risks Since the 1980s, Will it Act Now?

, climate accountability campaign manager

The year is 1988. The Wonder Years debuts on TV, George Michael’s “Faith” tops the Billboard charts, gas costs $1.67 at the pump, the U.S. Surgeon General states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine, and Royal Dutch Shell writes a confidential report on climate science and its own role in global warming. This report is one of dozens of internal documents unearthed by journalist Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent and posted this week on Climate Files that shed more light on what Shell knew decades ago about the risks of burning fossil fuels. Read more >

David Nagy
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Photo: Brian Katt

ExxonMobil’s Jekyll-and-Hyde Act: A Year in Holding Fossil Fuel Companies Accountable

, climate accountability campaign manager

Just a few weeks into the new year, ExxonMobil has turned the page on 2017—a year of significant gains for corporate climate accountability and significant setbacks for major fossil energy companies. However, some of these companies are aggressively fighting back, continuing to spread climate disinformation and refusing to plan for a low-carbon future. ExxonMobil, in particular, has moved toward countersuing California communities that are suing it and other fossil fuel producers over climate-related damages, and launched a webpage and video attacking the #ExxonKnew campaign. ExxonMobil’s retaliation against advocates for climate action and corporate accountability is a sure sign that our work is having an impact, and that now is the time to redouble our efforts.

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Courtesy of Public Citizen, Air Alliance Houston, and Center for Climate Integrity
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In Australia, Too, Shareholders Demand Climate Transparency from Fossil Fuel Companies

, climate accountability campaign manager

[Update December 19, 2017, 1:16pm] BHP Billiton Limited issued its promised report on the material differences between the company’s positions on climate and energy policy and the advocacy positions on climate and energy policy taken by industry associations to which BHP belongs. Based on its review, the company has decided to withdraw from the World Coal Association and to reconsider its membership in the US Chamber of Commerce. BHP will formally communicate with the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) over the inconsistencies between its position and those of the MCA, request that the MCA refrain from policy activity or advocacy in those area, and review its membership in the MCA if the association has not heeded that request within a year.

BHP’s report and the actions the company has taken based on it are a significant step forward for transparency and accountability of corporate lobbying. UCS and our supporters will be urging other major fossil fuel companies to match BHP’s disclosures and to ensure that the climate-related positions of their trade associations and industry groups are aligned with their own.

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Fig. 2 from Frumhoff, Heede, Oreskes (2015) based on data from Heede (2014)
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Climate Change Goes to Court

, president

In the United States today, the federal government has abdicated leadership on the central challenge of our time—global climate change. Congress has failed to enact a national climate change policy, and seems more divided on the issue than ever. Given this dereliction of duty, will courts now step in to fill this void?  Five recently filed suits—and some new work by climate scientists—suggest the answer could be yes. Read more >

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Chevron Refinery in South Africa. CC-BY-2.0 (Wikimedia Commons).

Will Chevron’s New CEO Show More Vision on Climate?

Wendy Gordon, PhD.,

The surprise announcement that Chevron CEO John Watson will be stepping down next month caught me and a lot of other people by surprise. I quickly had a flashback to the May 31 annual shareholder meeting that I attended and my one (and likely only) unsatisfying interaction with Chairman Watson. Read more >

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