Here in New York City, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a federal court Wednesday that ExxonMobil did not mislead shareholders about the financial risks of climate change while Tillerson was CEO of the company. Investors suing the oil giant contend that under Tillerson’s leadership in 2014, Exxon kept two sets of books on the predicted costs of future climate regulations — lowballing internal company estimates in order to justify carbon-intensive projects like mining Canada’s tar sands.
A damning report by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times revealed that Exxon knew that fossil fuels contributed to climate change as early as the 1970s but did not take any action even as it covered up the science. The student group Fridays for Future NYC is leading a school strike and rally today outside the Manhattan courthouse where the Exxon trial is underway. The group tweeted, “Exxon knew in 1982 they were stealing our future. And now they’ll pay for it.”