Oil behemoth Exxon won a big climate trial on Tuesday.
But critically, while New York State Supreme Court judge Barry Ostrager found the company did not deceive investors about the risks posed by sinking money into future oil projects, Ostrager emphasized it doesn’t excuse Exxon from its role in warming the planet.
“Climate science wasn’t on trial, and the judge acknowledged that,” said Carroll Muffett, a lawyer and president of the Center for International Environmental Law.
“Nothing in this opinion is intended to absolve ExxonMobil from responsibility for contributing to climate change through the emission of greenhouse gases in the production of its fossil fuel products,” wrote Ostrager. “ExxonMobil does not dispute either that its operations produce greenhouse gases or that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. But ExxonMobil is in the business of producing energy, and this is a securities fraud case, not a climate change case.” Read more…