Climate Liability Lawsuits Keep Coming in 2019

With the impacts of climate change becoming more visible and more dire, the movement to hold corporations accountable is growing day by day. As readers know, we have been covering the climate liability lawsuits that have been filed of late and 2018 was a banner year as reported by Climate Liability News.

Several new lawsuits and investigations were announced over the past couple of months. At the center of these pursuits is the fossil fuel industry, which profited handily from the sale of products that cause greenhouse gas pollution, while misleading the public and policy makers about the scientific consensus on climate change, even as their own scientists recognized that same growing consensus.

As these investigations and lawsuits blossom, documents from our Climate Files archive continue to be utilized, exposing the trail of corporate denial illuminated in many recent suits against the fossil fuel industry.  

New Lawsuits, Investigations, and Updates

  1. The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association, November 2018:  
  2. EU Parliament investigation, December 2018:
  3. Massachusetts case update, January 2019:
    • In early January, the United States Supreme Court denied ExxonMobil’s most recent attempt to quash Attorney General Maura Healey’s civil investigation into whether the oil giant mislead investors and the public on climate change. Exxon has repeatedly attempted to have the investigation set aside, but without success. Citing documents uncovered by years of reporting (and maintained on Climate Files) the investigation requests further documentation from the company on its knowledge of climate change.
  4. NYC shareholder case, October 2018:
    • Unlike other lawsuits focused on fossil fuel corporations misleading the public about climate change, this complaint alleges that ExxonMobil defrauded shareholders by not disclosing the full extent that climate change may affect its business.  Notably, the complaint hones in on Imperial oil, an ExxonMobil subsidiary, and its developments of tar sands, one of the most carbon intensive forms of fossil fuel energy.
  5. In France, Canada, and Ireland, new lawsuits were filed that are critical of the government’s role in adapting to climate change, rather than tagging corporations’ role in stopping government action.  One wonders if governments will enter evidence of corporate pressure in their defense.

Posted by Climate Investigations Center