City Attorney David Chiu issued statement during Climate Week regarding San Francisco’s litigation against fossil fuel companies
SAN FRANCISCO (September 19, 2023) — San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu issued the following statement today during Climate Week regarding San Francisco’s litigation against fossil fuel companies:
“Climate change is an existential threat to humanity. While these oil companies line their pockets and lie about the impact of their product, our communities suffer the effects of climate change. Coastal cities, like San Francisco and Oakland, are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, storm surges, and shoreline erosion. We filed our lawsuit in 2017 to hold these oil companies accountable for misleading the public about the widespread damage caused by fossil fuels. We are proud to have strong allies in Governor Newsom, Attorney General Bonta, and their offices join the fight against the devastating effects of climate change caused by these companies’ deception.”
In 2017, San Francisco and Oakland filed separate lawsuits on behalf of the People of the State of California against the five largest investor-owned producers of fossil fuels in the world. The lawsuits ask the courts to hold these companies responsible for the costs of protecting sea walls and other infrastructure necessary to protect San Francisco and Oakland from ongoing and future consequences of climate change and sea level rise caused by the companies’ production of massive amounts of fossil fuels.
As the cities have alleged for years, recent media reports highlight the lengths fossil fuel companies, particularly Exxon, have gone through to deny climate change and covertly undermine efforts to address it. Over the last five years, San Francisco and Oakland have successfully fought off a barrage of procedural efforts to thwart the City’s lawsuit.
San Francisco and Oakland’s cases are People of the State of California v. BP P.L.C. et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC 17-561370, filed Sept. 19, 2017. People of the State of California v. BP P.L.C. et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG17875889, filed Sept. 19, 2017.