Esso continues decades of climate denial

What has Esso (Exxon) done?

• spent decades refusing to publicly acknowledge climate change

Yet They knew in the late 1970's about fossil fuels causing climate change

• Funded the promotion of climate disinformation

Yet They knew in 1982 about how bad climate change would be by 2019
Photo: Mark Ramsay, under a CC BY 2.0 license

Where is the evidence?

It’s been established that Exxon has known about the link between fossil fuels and climate change for over 40 years. A former consultant scientist at Exxon (Esso in the UK, now ExxonMobil), Dr Martin Hoffert, testified to the US Congress last year that Exxon knew back in 1982 how bad climate change would be in 2019. Watch this video and see it for yourself:

The excellent BBC Radio 4 series How They Made Us Doubt Everything explains – in small bitesize episodes – how the fossil fuel industry made us doubt the link between fossil fuels and climate change, using the same playbook that successfully created doubt about the link between smoking tobacco and cancer. As you will find out, Exxon was at the very heart of these climate denial efforts.

An excellent article How The Oil Industry Made Us Doubt Climate Change takes an in-depth look at how fossil fuel companies have used ‘the tobacco playbook’ to create doubt about climate change. 

In the latest twist of this tale, although fossil fuel companies now claim to accept climate science, they still fund climate denial.

What can you do about it?

Time is up

Fossil fuel companies have had decades to act:

  • They know that their product causes climate change.
  • They know that climate change, now and in the future, causes serious harm to humans and the environment.
  • They continue to fund climate denial and delay.
  • They are knowingly allowing the harm to continue.

Government action is needed

It’s clear that fossil fuel companies cannot be trusted to make the rapid transition to low carbon energy sources that’s urgently needed. It requires Government action to actively transition society away from fossil fuels. That’s where the Climate & Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill comes in… if it becomes law, it will enable measures to be taken such as ending fossil fuel subsidies and instead providing incentives to accelerate green alternatives. It could also make provisions for ensuring a just transition, so that workers in the fossil fuel industry are given the retraining they need, ensuring no one is left behind.

If the CEE Bill becomes law it will require our Government to:

  • Act with urgency to limit global heating to 1.5°C (not rely on future tech to save the day).
  • Conserve forests, soils, and ecosystems both here and overseas.
  • Establish a Citizens’ Assembly with real powers to decide how we cut emissions.
  • Reduce our entire carbon footprint, including emissions from our imports and exports.

To become law, the CEE Bill will have to pass through a series of ‘readings’ where both MPs and Lords get to vote on whether it reaches the next stage.The more MPs that back the bill, the more pressure there is on the government to give it scrutiny in parliament, and the quicker it can jump the hoops to become UK law.

So tell your MP to back the bill! Phone or message them as part of this digital action. Visit their constituency office. Tell your neighbours and local media why this bill is so important.

For a full rundown on the CEE Bill, see our page all about it.