Climate change case against Exxon can proceed, court rules

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A suit by the authorities of Massachusetts accusing ExxonMobil of misleading the nationalist astir clime alteration tin spell forward, the state's highest tribunal has ruled. Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court connected Tuesday rejected a bid by ExxonMobil to disregard the lawsuit.

The case, filed successful 2019 by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey alleges Exxon launched an effort, "reminiscent of the baccy industry's agelong denial run astir the unsafe effects of cigarettes," to deceive consumers and investors astir clime change.

A little tribunal ruling antecedently rejected the company's statement that a authorities instrumentality shielded it from the lawsuit. The state's Supreme Judicial Court upheld that ruling connected Tuesday.

A telephone connection seeking remark was near with Exxon, which has denied spreading disinformation astir the publication of fossil fuels to planetary warming. The institution has previously called lawsuits attempting to clasp it liable for clime alteration disinformation "baseless and without merit."

"Greenwashing campaigns"

Lawsuits against fossil-fuel companies person proliferated successful caller years arsenic much probe has emerged documenting theri relation successful casting uncertainty connected climate-change science.

Research has overwhelmingly demonstrated that burning oil, state and ember contributes to warming Earth's ambiance and destabilizing the climate, with catastrophic results including accrued flooding, utmost upwind and much predominant vigor waves.

When the probe archetypal became wide known successful the 1980s and 90s, groups funded by the lipid and state manufacture worked to formed uncertainty connected the relation fossil fuels, and quality enactment generally, played successful clime change. That's adjacent though lipid companies' interior probe backed up the nexus betwixt fossil-fuel emissions and planetary warming.

Now, much than 2 twelve cities and states are suing these companies over their relation successful clouding the science.

The Massachusetts suit says Exxon engaged successful a "sophisticated, multi-million dollar campaign" to sow uncertainty successful clime subject and downplay the nexus betwixt fossil fuels and clime change. The suit says Exxon besides undertook "greenwashing campaigns" successful an effort to represent itself arsenic environmentally responsible.

"Rather than honestly disclose and mitigate clime alteration risks, ExxonMobil's misrepresentations astir and failures to disclose those risks person delayed the needed modulation to cleanable vigor astir the satellite and marque these existential climate-driven threats to the planetary system much apt to occur," the ailment says.

Healey called the court's ruling a "resounding victory" successful the state's efforts to "stop Exxon from lying to investors and consumers."

"Exxon's repeated attempts to stonewall our suit person been baseless, and this effort was nary different," she said successful a statement. "We look guardant to proceeding with our lawsuit and having our time successful tribunal to amusement however Exxon is breaking the instrumentality and to enactment an extremity to the deception erstwhile and for all," she said successful a statement.

"The world and risks of clime change"

In a legislature proceeding past year, Exxon's CEO, Darren Woods, told lawmakers that its nationalist statements connected clime "are and person ever been truthful" and that Exxon has "long acknowledged the world and risks of clime change" and "devoted important resources to addressing those risks."

Lawyers for Exxon argued successful tribunal documents that the company's statements astir clime alteration and vigor argumentation were "protected petitioning activity" adjacent if they were made to support the company's reputation.

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But the apical tribunal said the instrumentality Exxon claimed should support the institution successful this lawsuit doesn't use to authorities enforcement actions brought by the lawyer general.

It's the latest twist successful yearslong conflict betwixt Massachusetts and Exxon. The institution antecedently unsuccessfully sued Massachusetts successful an effort to artifact Healey's probe into Exxon and clime change.

In: Climate Change