Activist lawyers put UK companies on notice that legal action could be ‘on the cards’ as environmentalists say oil industry’s ‘entire business model is predicated on extremely dangerous levels of climate change’
In an industry first, one of the world’s biggest oil companies has warned it could face legal action over climate change.
Chevron, the California-based multinational, admitted it could be the subject of “governmental investigations and, potentially, private litigation” because of its role in causing global warming.
And the firm added that regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions might also render the “extraction of the company’s oil and gas resources economically infeasible”.
Environmentalists suggested the decision to admit the threat to the company could be a reaction to legal case brought last year against Exxon Mobil by the Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation, which alleges the fossil fuel company tried to discredit climate science despite knowing the risks in order to make money.
Chevron was one of a number of oil firms targeted in a campaign by the Union of Concerned Scientists in the US to “stop funding climate disinformation”.
And, in an official filing about the state of its financial health to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company lays out possible reasons why it might have been in its interest to cast doubt on scientific evidence that its products are causing a problem.
Laws requiring the reduction of emissions – like legislation that could be in the UK Government’s long-delayed Emissions Reduction Plan – “may result in increased and substantial … costs and could, among other things, reduce demand for hydrocarbons”, Chevron said in a section called “risk factors”.
Read more at Chevron Warns It Could Face Climate Change Lawsuits with Future Oil Drilling Potentially ‘Economically Infeasible’