City of Baltimore sues oil giants over consequences of climate change


The US city Baltimore filed a lawsuit on Friday against 26 oil and gas giants for “knowingly” advancing climate change issues in the city, targeting companies such as BP, Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp.

This is one of the many similar cases issued this year against oil and gas companies, which are holding large energy corporations responsible for the impact of climate change on local communities.

Last Thursday, a US District Court judge dismissed another resembling case from New York City, stating that climate change “must be addressed through federal regulation and foreign policy because climate change is a global problem”.

According to reports, Baltimore finds itself extremely vulnerable to flooding in the late future, due to the city having 96km of coastline and the oil and gas industry directly encouraging rising sea levels.

"These oil and gas companies ... could have warned us. They could have taken steps to minimise or avoid the damage. In fact, they had a responsibility to do both, but they didn't, and that's why we are taking them to court," city solicitor Andre Davis said in a statement.

"We believe climate change is a complex societal challenge that should be addressed through sound government policy and cultural change ... not by the courts," Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said in an e-mail.


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