California is filing a lawsuit against oil companies for deceptive practices.

WThe US state of California has filed a lawsuit against five of the world’s largest oil companies, accusing them of causing environmental damage worth billions and of misleading the public. According to court documents, California filed the lawsuit on Friday against Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, ConocoPhilips, Chevron, and the American Petroleum Institute (API). The state accuses them of actively spreading false information about the risks associated with the use of fossil fuels.

„I cannot reword“

The managers of oil and gas companies have known for decades that a reliance on fossil fuels would lead to these catastrophic results, according to the lawsuit filed in San Francisco court. However, they have withheld this information from the public and politicians and have been actively spreading misinformation on the subject for decades.

Klageschrift setzt Irreführung und laxe Umweltpolitik in Bezug

According to the 135-page lawsuit, the society reacted to global warming with a delay due to this „deception“. The „misconduct“ of oil managers has resulted in significant costs for people, property, and natural resources.

The defendants are accused in the court documents of downplaying the scientific consensus on climate change and emphasizing uncertainty in order to delay any regulatory measures, according to the text.

The API industrial association rejected the lawsuit as „worthless“ and „politicized“. „This ongoing, coordinated campaign to pursue worthless, politicized processes against a strategic American industry and its workers is nothing more than a distraction from important national issues and a tremendous waste of California taxpayers‘ money,“ said association spokesperson Andrea Woods to the AFP news agency.

A spokesperson from Shell stated that the oil company agrees that action must be taken due to climate change. However, they believe that the courtroom is not the appropriate place for it. California aims to establish a fund through their lawsuit to cover the costs of future damages caused by climate change in the state, such as wildfires and floods.

Für Klimaaktivisten ist die Klage eine Zäsur

„I cannot reword“

„Ich kann es nicht umformulieren.“

Since the beginning of the current wave of environmental lawsuits against oil companies around 2017, the industry has been attempting to prevent state proceedings by using procedural reasons. These efforts faced a setback in May when the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed two appeals. The lawsuits took inspiration from successful cases against major tobacco companies and the US pharmaceutical industry in relation to the opioid crisis.