Brooklyn, NY — The international climate campaign 350.org is calling on lawmakers to force ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies to pay for the costs of climate-related disasters like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
“We should be naming these hurricanes after Exxon and Chevron, not Harvey and Irma,” said 350.org Executive Director May Boeve. “Just like we held Big Tobacco accountable for the damage they caused by lying about cigarettes, it’s time to hold Big Oil accountable for lying about climate change.”
A new report released on Thursday by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows how top fossil fuel producers are responsible for at least half of global surface temperature increase and 30% of global sea level rise. The work builds on a growing body of attribution science that has strengthened the connections between fossil fuel majors and climate impacts.
“The fossil fuel industry didn’t cause Hurricane Harvey, but it’s clear that their denial and emissions made it worse,” said Boeve. “That’s a starting point to figure out what percentage of the damage you can attribute to the industry. There’s no scenario where a company like Exxon walks away clean.”
350.org is part of a growing number of groups who are pressuring elected officials to hold ExxonMobil in particular accountable for their history of climate deception. A peer-reviewed study released last week affirmed that Exxon has intentionally misled the public for decades about global warming.
“Right now, the people who are paying for the climate crisis are those who have done the least to cause it,” said Boeve. “Instead of putting the burden on low-income and communities of color, we should be holding these fossil fuel billionaires accountable for the damage they’ve done. Climate change isn’t just a crisis, it’s a crime. It’s high time to hold the criminals accountable.”
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