ACTION ALERT: Stop Paying the Price for Big Oil’s Crimes
(November 4, 2019) — Last Friday, youth activists with Fridays for Future NYC who organized the Climate Strike in New York City gathered at the steps of the New York Supreme Court. Why? New York State is suing ExxonMobil for fraud — alleging Exxon hid the truth about the financial impact of the climate crisis from shareholders.
These brave young people lifted up a powerful demand from the Climate Strike in the US and the broader movement for climate justice: hold corporate polluters accountable for the damage they’ve done to our communities and climate.
Up till now, the people least responsible have paid the price for Big Oil’s crimes. Now, it’s time to make fossil fuel companies pay for the harm they’ve done.
This case is an important first step to making Big Oil pay — but it’s not the end. Exxon and the fossil fuel industry at large can’t just be held liable to their shareholders. The harm they’ve done to our communities and climate has affected us all, and that’s especially true for those of us who are poor and/or people of color. The people most affected by the climate crisis don’t usually hold stock in Exxon.
The call to make corporate polluters pay can’t just be a case of the rich paying off the rich — that’s exactly what got us into this mess. Working together, we can seize the opportunity created by New York v. ExxonMobil to demand fossil fuel companies pay for all the costs of the climate crisis. That starts by pressuring our elected officials to use their authority to make that happen.
We know what we’re suggesting is ambitious, and it’s exactly the kind of measure we need in this climate crisis. Five years ago, most people wouldn’t have believed that we’d see ExxonMobil in court for creating the climate crisis. We’re seeing it now because people power made it happen. And that’s exactly how we’ll achieve this next goal: making fossil fuel companies pay.
Let’s do this.
350.org is a global movement that fights for a just and equitable world by stopping the fossil fuel industry from continuing to destroy our climate.
Tell Congress and State Attorneys General: Make Big Polluters pay.
(November 2, 2019) — It’s time to hold Big Polluters liable — for the losses and damage they’re knowingly causing, and to pay for the solutions we need to transition to a just, sustainable future. It’s time to make them pay.
For decades, Big Polluters like Exxon, Shell, and others have known that their products are fueling disastrous climate change. Despite this, they’ve spent billions of dollars to manufacture doubt and denial about the causes of climate change, discredit science, buy political influence, and delay action.
Meanwhile, these corporations are making record profits — all at the expense of people in the Global South, and people of color and low-income communities around the world, including in the United States.
People are fighting to protect their homelands from rising seas, their loved ones from extreme weather events, and their lives and livelihoods from floods, droughts, pipelines, brutal fossil fuel extraction, deforestation, destruction of natural ecosystems, land grabs, and other violations of their rights. Communities around the world are struggling to fund urgent recovery needs from climate disasters, and to cover ongoing costs for chronic health problems from pollution.
Here’s the thing: We know how to respond to this global crisis. Real, just solutions to address climate change are within reach, and have been led by communities on the front lines of the climate crisis for decades. (See the solutions enshrined in the People’s Demands for Climate Justice.)
But frontline communities urgently need funding to implement these solutions, as part of a just and equitable transition.
This is why Big Polluters can not only afford to, but must be made to pay for the devastating impacts of the climate crisis — and pay to implement the just solutions the world urgently needs.
It’s time to follow the lead of communities around the globe who are holding polluting industries liable for the damage they have caused.
And the US has a crucial role to play in taking on the most powerful industries on the planet.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing Exxon for deceiving its shareholders; the trial is happening right now. Other regions are filing lawsuits as well, including on behalf of the people. These cases will build essential legal precedents. This summer, the US Conference of Mayors voted to oppose any limits on such lawsuits.
Activists are demanding that Congress investigate Exxon and other Big Polluters for decades of deception. Polls show that most Americans “believe that fossil fuel companies bear primary responsibility for climate change and should foot the bill to fix the mess they created.”
Now is a crucial time, in the lead-up to December’s international climate treaty meetings (COP25), as the US presidential elections heat up, and as US state Attorneys General decide whether to investigate the fossil fuel industry’s decades of climate deception. We need you to join the growing movement to hold Big Polluters liable for the damage they cause.
ACTION: Please act now. Click “send letters” to email your US Senators, your Representative in the US House, and then your state’s Attorney General and say: I’m counting on you to hold Big Polluters accountable.
(Note: If you live in New York Massachusetts or Rhode Island, your Attorneys General have already filed lawsuits to hold Big Polluters accountable! But please send this letter to your members of Congress.)