Has ExxonMobil misled investors and deliberately underestimated the financial risks of climate change? A New York judge has just given the green light for an indisputable lawsuit on this issue.
The lawsuit was filed in October 2018 by the Attorney General of the State of New York, on behalf of millions of US investors, who alleged fraud of the company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Judge Barry Ostrager of the Supreme Court of the state of New York rejected the final motions on Wednesday evening and instituted proceedings for Tuesday.
In particular, the company is accused of assuring investors that it had included in its decisions the foreseeable increase in the cost of greenhouse gas emissions, while according to the public prosecutor. According to him, Exxon would have applied either underestimated costs or no costs at all, thus avoiding billions of dollars in additional costs.
The energy glove would also have misled investors by ensuring that its activities would suffer little in the event that the authorities decide to drastically reduce gas and oil production and consumption in order to limit the plant's heating to less than 2Celsius , as expected. Paris climate agreement.
Even if it is not attacked immediately, the complaint questions the company's former CEO, Rex Tillerson, Trump government secretary of state, who knew for years that the company's claims on these costs were misleading.
The state of New York does not quote any claim for compensation, but demands that ExxonMobil is required to publish corrected information to investors and to repay the amounts wrongly raised by this fraud.
False and misleading accusations
ExxonMobil, whose title was not affected by the announcement of this trial on Thursday, described as false and misleading allegations by the public prosecutor and said he was convinced to be acquitted by the court. It is known that the Attorney General's investigation and the subsequent civil complaint were politically motivated and the result of a joint effort by fossil anti-energy organizations and lawyers involved in other cases against the oil industry, the company said Thursday. in a statement.
In August, the SEC, the US stock exchange agent, rejected an investigation of more than two years into ExxonMobil's accounting practices and the financial impact of government policies against global warming on results.
(Nxp / afp)