Green groups issue letter to insurance companies and energy giants asking, ‘Who will pay?’
– Lauren McCauley, staff writer
Protesters demanding an end to impunity for energy companies on fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. (Photo: Steve Rhodes/ Creative Commons)Fossil fuel executives, watch out.
A group of environmental organizations want to know who is going to be held responsible for the corporate obstructionism of climate change information and policies, despite clear scientific consensus.
In a letter of warning issued Wednesday to over 75 major insurance and fossil fuel corporations, Greenpeace International, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) beg the question: Who will pay for this climate deceit?
Citing “asbestos to tobacco to oil spills,” Carroll Muffett, president of CIEL, said history shows that “those who mislead the public, the market or the government about the risks of their products, or the availability of safer alternatives, can face substantial legal liability, both as companies and as individuals.”
“While lawful lobbying is a vital part of the democratic process,” the groups write, “corporate influence—either directly or through outside organizations—aiming to obstruct action on climate change, coupled with the development, sponsorship or dissemination of false, misleading or intentionally incomplete information about the climate risks associated with fossil fuel products and services to regulators, shareholders, and insurers could pose a risk to directors and officers personally.”