Prosecuting climate crime, one state at a time

We’re close to winning a victory in court to hold fossil fuel profiteers like Exxon accountable for their lies. We told you last month about a group of State Attorney Generals and local prosecutors bringing lawsuits against these companies for lying to us since the very beginning of the climate crisis. Now, it’s time to make them pay.

The New York case brought by Attorney General Letitia James against Exxon for fraudulently deceiving investors about its business and climate change just wrapped up and a ruling is expected soon. The US House of Representatives recently held a public hearing into what #ExxonKnew and when they knew it. And as New York’s case wrapped up, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced her state is suing Exxon too; joining prosecutors in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and dozens of other cities.

The dam has officially broken, and climate polluters are being called to answer for their crimes. Next month, a delegation will attend the global climate talks in Madrid, to share evidence, legal strategy and encourage other state, local, and national governments to open their own investigations and lawsuits.

Will you back them up by sending a letter to your U.S. Senators, your Representative in the U.S. House, and then your state’s Attorney General and say: I’m counting on you to hold Big Polluters accountable? Just click here to get started.

It’s time to hold Big Polluters liable — for the losses and damage they’re knowingly causing, and to pay for the solutions we need to transition to a just, sustainable future. It’s time to make them pay.

For decades fossil fuel giants like Chevron, Exxon, and Saudi Aramco made billions in profits, and spent millions funding denial and inaction. In fact, a report in the Guardian showed that just 20 fossil fuel companies are responsible for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.

In opening her case against Exxon, New York Attorney General Letitia James said “This fraud reached the highest levels of the company.” And her case is making waves – she compelled former US Secretary of State and ExxonMobil strongman Rex Tillerson to testify in open court. And her case is just the opening shot in what some are calling a legal war that is just beginning.

The fossil fuel industry has caused and is continuing to cause grave damage to people and our planet. And just like we’re not all equally responsible, we’re not all impacted by this crisis equally: Around the world, low-income communities, indigenous people, youth, communities of color, and people in the Global South are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.

And despite what their greenwashing advertising says, climate criminals are still up to no good. Last year the top five oil companies raked in more than $80 billion in profit, while fossil fuels spent more than $125 million lobbying (in the U.S. alone), and invested just 1% in renewables.

For the last few weeks, thousands of us have joined with dozens of organizations to demand world leaders kick Big Polluters out of climate policy, make polluters pay for climate crisis, to fund real, just solutions to address the climate crisis.

Elected officials are clearly paying attention — as the surge in lawsuits and congressional hearings indicates. Now is a critical moment to take action. Before the climate talks start, write to your members of Congress and your state Attorney General and urge them to take action to hold the fossil fuel industry liable for their decades of deception.


One thought on “Prosecuting climate crime, one state at a time

  1. Joyce Champelli Reply

    Exxon must pay for their lies

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