climate liability


Exxon refinery in Baytown, Texas.

Fossil Fuel Giants Are Pumping Out Greenwashing—Their Tricks Won’t Work

, climate accountability campaign director

In recent months, we’ve seen fossil fuel giant ExxonMobil leave the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), pledge $1 million to support a carbon tax, announce measures to reduce methane emissions, and join the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI). Is the company finally getting serious about addressing climate change? Um, no. We found that these companies still appear to be trying to trick us with greenwashing. Here are six tricks by ExxonMobil and some of its key competitors that we’re countering with our public exposure and organizing. Read more >

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Experts Expose Hot Air in Fossil Fuel Companies’ Climate Risk Reporting

, climate accountability campaign director

Last week, I participated in the 2nd Conference on Fossil Fuel Supply and Climate Policy at the University of Oxford in England. It was an exciting opportunity to discuss policies and actions aimed at limiting the supply of coal, oil, and natural gas with academic researchers, civil society leaders, and other experts from across the globe. Along with my UCS colleague Peter Frumhoff, I organized a panel on “Well Below 2°C Reporting by Major Fossil Energy Companies: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Since the 2015 adoption of the Paris climate agreement, companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell have begun to publish reports in response to mounting investor demands that they disclose their plans for a world in which global temperature increase is kept well below two degrees Celsius (2°C) above pre-industrial levels. Panelists looked at climate risk reporting by major investor-owned oil and gas companies from legal, shareholder, scientific, and advocacy perspectives.

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Photo: Alan Grinsberg/Flickr

Six Key Facts Ignored in Dismissal of California Climate Suits vs. Fossil Fuel Companies

, climate accountability campaign director

This week, U.S. District Judge William Alsup dismissed lawsuits by San Francisco and Oakland seeking to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their contributions to climate change. Judge Alsup’s ruling dangerously rested on balancing climate harms with fossil energy benefits, deferred to legislative- and executive-branch solutions that major fossil fuel companies have spent millions opposing, seriously underplayed the role of ExxonMobil and others in spreading disinformation about climate science and policy, and punted on the question of who should pay for climate damages.

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Shareholders Not Playing Games at Big Oil Annual General Meetings

, climate accountability campaign director

Major fossil fuel producers are holding their annual general meetings (AGMs) this month amid mounting pressure from investors, increasing risks of legal liability for climate damages, and heightened scrutiny of their lobbying and public policy advocacy. BP and Royal Dutch Shell host their AGMs this week; ExxonMobil and Chevron will follow next week.

If shareholder meetings were classic game shows, and investors were keeping score, fossil fuel companies would be coming up short. Read more >

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ExxonMobil refinery in Baton Rouge, LA.

2°C or not 2°C? Unanswered Questions in ExxonMobil’s and Chevron’s Climate Risk Reports

, climate accountability campaign director

Heading into their annual meetings at the end of this month, both ExxonMobil and Chevron have published reports in response to investor demands that they disclose their plans for a world in which global temperature increase is kept well below two degrees Celsius (2°C) above pre-industrial levels—the target set in the Paris Climate Agreement. Should ExxonMobil and Chevron shareholders be satisfied with these reports? No—and there are indications that some are not. I took a look at these reports, consulted with other UCS experts, and identified four big questions left unanswered. Read more >

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