Login Register Subscribe
Current Issue

Environmental groups target energy firm directors on climate change


A trio of environmental groups on Wednesday said directors and officers of fossil fuel companies could face personal liability for opposing policies to fight climate change.

In letters sent to 32 energy companies and 44 insurers and brokers providing D&O coverage, the Center for International Environmental Law, Greenpeace International and the World Wildlife Fund state that individuals at companies could face climate-related claims.

“The corporations who share the majority of responsibility for the estimated global industrial emissions of CO2 and methane over the past 150 years may have been or may be working to defeat action on climate change and clean energy by funding climate denial and disseminating false or misleading information on climate risks,” the letters state. “While lawful lobbying is a vital part of the democratic process, 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.”

The energy industry recipients of the letters include Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp.

Insurance industry recipients include Ace Ltd., Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Swiss Re Ltd.