Brussels, 20 June 2017 — Despite the evidence of the ExxonMobil’s active role in the funding of climate change deniers which has deliberately prevented far more consequent and comprehensive political efforts against climate change, the EU Commission says it does not plan to take action.
The Commission’s statement is in response to a Food & Water Europe petition from July 2016, asking Members of the European Parliament to hold ExxonMobil accountable for its climate cover-up – which will be discussed in the Petition Committee of the EU tomorrow.
There is increasing evidence that in the 1980s, and maybe even much earlier, oil and gas giant ExxonMobil knew about the existence of climate change and the role of fossil fuels. And while carefully keeping the facts to themselves, ExxonMobil started a denial campaign covering up the certainty that climate change and fossil fuel extraction are closely linked. Its former CEO Rex Tillerson is Secretary of State in the Trump administration, which announced the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on June 1.
To this day, ExxonMobil has not taken proper action and hasn’t suffered liability for its actions. Instead of acknowledging its wrongdoing, ExxonMobil continues to push for fracking projects in Europe that will cause even more methane emissions and increase global warming. Moreover, the company violates the precautionary and polluter pays principle (article 191 AEUV) and works deliberately against the fundamental rights of EU citizens (in particular article 35 of EU Charter of Fundamental Rights).
This statement from the Commission comes at a time when the same EU Commission – together with the Council of the EU – deeply regrets the unilateral decision by the United States Administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and reaffirms that the European Union and its Member States remain united and absolutely committed to full and swift implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“It’s disappointing to see that the EU Commission presents itself as a defender of the Paris Agreement while refusing to hold ExxonMobil accountable for its role in the crisis,” says Andy Gheorghiu of Food & Water Europe. “But we all know that the time for talk is over. What we need now is swift and concrete action to tackle the already visible impacts of global warming.”
Andy Gheorghiu, Food & Water Europe, Fracking Policy Advisor, +49 5631 50 69 507 (land), +49 160 20 30 974 (mobile), agheorghiu(at)fweurope.org