October 24, 2018

NY AG’s Lawsuit Against ExxonMobil for Climate Fraud A Significant Step Toward Holding Company Accountable

Statement by Peter Frumhoff, Union of Concerned Scientists

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (October 24, 2018)–New York’s attorney general is suing ExxonMobil for defrauding shareholders by downplaying climate change risks to its business. The lawsuit comes after more than three years of investigations by several state attorneys general as well as reports by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Inside Climate News, the Los Angeles Times and others that found that ExxonMobil executives were well aware of the threat posed by their products, but spent tens of millions of dollars to sow doubt about those risks and block government action.

New York’s lawsuit is a significant step toward holding ExxonMobil accountable for distorting climate science and misleading investors, policymakers and the public about climate change, according to UCS, which yesterday released a scorecard ranking ExxonMobil and other major fossil fuel companies on a range of climate-related criteria. 

Below is a statement by Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at UCS.

“ExxonMobil has a long track record of acknowledging facts about climate change privately and spreading disinformation publicly, and continues to do so today. Cities and counties across the country are filing lawsuits to seek compensation from ExxonMobil for the costs of climate damages and adaptation. Now we’ll learn whether and how the company defrauded shareholders. The New York attorney general’s lawsuit is a major step forward in holding ExxonMobil accountable to its shareholders and the general public.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.