On September 9th, the city of Charleston, SC filed a lawsuit against fossil fuel companies, claiming they have been misleading the public on the realities of climate change and caused devastating flooding throughout the city.
The lawsuit was filed in the S.C. Court of Common Pleas in Charleston and named 24 fossil fuel companies including Exxon Mobil Corporation, Hess Corporation, Shell Oil Company, BP America Inc., and Chevron Corporation.
Charleston has been plagued with frequent flooding for quite some time that experts predict will only get worse overtime – a problem that the city says is due to the effects of fossil fuel companies and the rising sea level.
“As this lawsuit shows, these companies have known for more than 50 years that their products were going to cause the worst flooding the world has seen since Noah built the Ark,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg explained in a statement regarding the lawsuit. “And instead of warning us, they covered up the truth and turned our flooding problems into their profits. That was wrong, and this lawsuit is all about holding them accountable for that multi-decade campaign of deception.”
Charleston is now the first southern city to sue oil companies for their alleged role in climate change.
While there has not been a direct response from the defendants listed in the lawsuit, Shell officials have stated they “do not believe the courtroom is the right venue to address climate change.”