A radical climate strategy emerges: charge big oil firms with homicide
Oil companies have come under increasing legal scrutiny and face allegations of defrauding investors, racketeering, and a wave of other lawsuits. But a new paper argues there’s another way to hold big oil accountable for climate damage: trying companies for homicide.
The striking and seemingly radical legal theory is laid out in a paper accepted for publication in the Harvard Environmental Law Review. In it, the authors argue fossil fuel companies “have not simply been lying to the public, they have been killing members of the public at an accelerating rate, and prosecutors should bring that crime to the public’s attention”.
“What’s on their ledger in terms of harm, there’s nothing like it in human history,” said David Arkush, the director of the climate program at consumer advocacy group Public Citizen and one of the paper’s authors.
Attorneys general and cities have used that information to sue oil companies for…