New files shed light on ExxonMobil’s efforts to undermine climate science

Executives privately sought to downplay link between fossil fuels and climate change despite public pronouncements, WSJ reports

Date: September 14, 2023
Complete Article: The Guardian


ExxonMobil executives privately sought to undermine climate science even after the oil and gas giant publicly acknowledged the link between fossil fuel emissions and climate change, according to previously unreported documents revealed by the Wall Street Journal.

The new revelations are based on previously unreported documents subpoenaed by New York’s attorney general as part of an investigation into the company announced in 2015. They add to a slew of documents that record a decades-long misinformation campaign waged by Exxon, which are cited in a growing number of state and municipal lawsuits against big oil.

In 2006, Exxon publicly accepted that the climate crisis posed risks, and it went on to support the Paris agreement. Yet behind closed doors, the company behaved differently, the documents show.

The documents could bolster legal efforts to hold oil companies accountable for their alleged attempts to sow doubt about climate science. More than two dozen US cities and states are suing big oil, claiming the industry knew for decades about the dangers of burning coal, oil and gas but hid that information.

In July, progressive senators led by Vermont’s Bernie Sanders also urged the justice department to sue oil majors for allegedly violating US consumer protection laws, racketeering laws, and other legal standards.

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