Chicago takes on oil giants in climate lawsuit

A lawsuit alleges that BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Shell have damaged Chicago by undermining scientific credibility, while their products contribute to devastating effects such as intense storms, floods, extreme heat, and coastal erosion.

Brett Chase reports for the Chicago Sun-Times.


In short:

  • Chicago is suing BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Shell, alleging they misled the public about climate change impacts.
  • The lawsuit aims to hold these companies accountable for the city's climate change-related costs, including infrastructure damage and adaptation expenses.
  • This legal action follows similar suits by New York and California, seeking financial compensation for fossil fuel-induced environmental harm.

Key quote:

The fossil fuel industry “funded, conceived, planned and carried out a sustained and widespread campaign of denial and disinformation about the existence of climate change and their products’ contribution to it.”

— Chicago lawsuit against fossil fuel companies

Why this matters:

This lawsuit underscores a growing trend of cities holding corporations accountable for environmental damage, particularly as it relates to public health and safety. It reflects a significant shift in how local governments are addressing the broader issue of climate change, potentially setting a precedent for future legal actions against major polluters.

Also see: How the car and gas industry knew about the health risks of leaded fuel but sold it for 100 years anyway.

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