- California has filed a civil lawsuit against some of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies over claims they intentionally mislead the public about their products’ impact on climate change, which the suit alleges is now causing billions of dollars in damage.1
- The legal action names Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevon, and the American Petroleum Institute as co-defendants.2
- It also calls for the defendants to create a fund to pay for future damage caused by climate-related disasters. California's Gov. Gavin Newsome said on X — formerly Twitter — that the state is “taking action to hold big polluters accountable.”3
- In California’s filing, AG Rob Bonta accused the defendants of intentionally downplaying the risks fossil fuels pose to the climate, and of causing a “delayed societal response to global warming,” leading to a tremendous cost for “people, property, and natural resources.”2
- A spokesperson for the American Petroleum Institute called the lawsuit “meritless” and a “waste of California taxpayer resources.”4
- Though seven other states and numerous municipalities have filed similar lawsuits in recent years, this latest suit from the US's most populous state has immediately become the most significant.4
- Narrative A, as provided by Politico. California has already spent billions responding to climate change and its associated disasters — through this suit, the fossil fuel companies behind these issues can finally be held accountable for the deception that beckoned this crisis. Over the years, more and more hard evidence has emerged concerning companies' awareness about how they were impacting the climate, which they failed to pass on to the public.
- Narrative B, as provided by Forbes. California – a large consumer of fossil fuels – has no case to say that its patterns of fossil fuel usage have been impacted by any messaging from these companies. Climate change is a serious issue that requires thought-out solutions and cooperation across the globe; frivolous lawsuits meant to paint fossil fuel companies as singularly responsible villains will not be helpful in securing a green future.