Exxon’s predictions about the climate crisis may have increased its legal peril

(The Guardian, 20 Jan 2023) Several US states say news that Exxon scientists predicted global heating accurately strengthens their lawsuits against company.

Further revelations of the extent of Exxon’s historical knowledge of the unfolding climate crisis may have deepened the legal peril faced by the oil giant, with several US states suing the company for alleged deception, claiming their cases have now been strengthened.

A research paper published last week found that from the 1970s onwards, Exxon climate scientists “correctly and skillfully” predicted climbing global temperatures, rising by around 0.2C a decade due to the burning of fossil fuels, often matching or surpassing the accuracy of projections by independent outside scientists.

Geoffrey Supran, lead author of the new study, which was gleaned from a trove of internal documents and published scientific papers, said it was “breathtaking” to see Exxon’s projections line up so closely with what subsequently happened.

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The Guardian, 20 Jan 2023: Exxon’s predictions about the climate crisis may have increased its legal peril