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The list of cities suing major fossil fuel companies over climate change just got longer

Author: Natasha Geiling, Think Progress, Published on: 23 January 2018

Richmond, California has become the ninth city in less than a year to bring major fossil fuel companies to court over climate change. On Monday, the city announced that it was filing a lawsuit against 29 oil, gas, and coal companies — including Chevron, BP, and Exxon — to try and hold them accountable for their role in climate change and its impacts on the community.

...Richmond argues that it is uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because of both its location and its particular economic reality. Richmond is surrounded on three sides by water, and is home to some of the poorest communities in the San Francisco Bay Area...[and] has struggled with industrial pollution due to the presence of several oil refineries and plants operated by Chevron.

...Richmond’s mayor highlighted the city’s economic situation as part of the reason for seeking damages from fossil fuel companies, though the lawsuit does not ask for a specific amount of compensation.

...Richmond’s case will likely rest on two major questions: whether attorneys can definitively trace the impacts of climate change, in this case sea level rise as well as wildfires and droughts, to particular companies, and whether it can be shown that those companies knowingly pushed their products despite knowing the harm they could cause.

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Related companies: BP Chevron ExxonMobil