February 5, 2020

350.org on California municipal climate damages lawsuit hearings

“…lawsuits are one way to make polluters pay.”

Pasadena, CA — Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard two oral arguments to consider whether climate damages lawsuits brought against major fossil fuel companies, including Chevron, Exxon, BP, Shell, and ConocoPhillips, by eight California municipalities should be heard in state or federal court, and whether lawsuits brought by San Francisco and Oakland should proceed if they are not sent back to state court. 

Tianna Arrendondo, 350.org California Regional Organizer, said: 

“Californians are holding the likes of Chevron and Exxon accountable for their climate destruction and deception, and these damages lawsuits are one way to make polluters pay. California is a microcosm of the climate crisis: our homes engulfed by wildfires, rising seas eroding our towns, fossil fuel refineries poisoning communities and food-workers, and more. We’re also a beacon for real climate leadership: phasing out fossil fuel projects as we speak, and fighting for a statewide Green New Deal that works for all. We demand officials at all levels, from City Councilors to Governor Gavin Newsom, support these climate lawsuits, hold fossil fuel corporations accountable, and acknowledge and stop harm throughout the state.”

Janet Cox, with 350 Silicon Valley and Fossil Free California, added:

“Many of us in California have been watching these suits since the start; waiting for the Ninth Circuit to resolve the jurisdiction issue so we can mobilize our communities and make polluters pay for their harms. The monetary cost of recovering and protecting our communities, businesses, and infrastructure from past and future climate devastation will be astronomical, not to mention the toll these disasters take on our lives and livelihoods. This burden must not fall on local governments and taxpayers. Who can afford it? Who should pay? Oil and gas companies profiting from causing unraveling climate chaos.”


Contact: Lindsay Meiman, [email protected], +1 (347) 460-9082