WASHINGTON – Today, Judge Barry Ostrager ruled in favor of ExxonMobil in the People of New York v. ExxonMobil climate fraud lawsuit. New Yorkers rallied outside the courthouse on the first day of the trial in solidarity with New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Dominique Thomas, New Yorker and 350.org organizer, issued the following statement:
“Despite this ruling, the crucial work to hold the likes of Exxon accountable for climate crimes goes on. This is just the tip of the accountability iceberg. We thank Attorney General Tish James for her diligence in fighting to protect New Yorkers from rogue and reckless polluters. For our communities, this lawsuit was always about so much more than the Martin Act and investor fraud.
“Just like Big Tobacco, Exxon knew and lied about the dangers of climate change. Now, seven years after Superstorm Sandy, those of us who have done the least to cause the climate crisis are still paying the costs through our lives and livelihoods. As we enter the Climate Decade, Exxon and its fossil friends need to pay. From powerful youth climate strikes and escalated action to stop fossil fuels in New York State, to visionary solutions like renewable heat and a Green New Deal, the demand to make polluters pay will only get louder.”
Dozens of municipalities have announced lawsuits against major oil companies for climate damages, including Honolulu and Maui County in Hawaii; New York City; Baltimore, MD; Boulder County, CO; dozens of municipalities in California; the state of Rhode Island, and more.
During the course of the New York trial, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced the state’s lawsuit against Exxon for investor and consumer fraud. Just this week, an announcement from the Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights opened the door for the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies, including ExxonMobil, to be held responsible for violating human rights.
The number of climate lawsuits will only continue to grow as momentum builds to hold Big Polluters accountable for the damages they continue to cause for communities across the U.S. and around the world.