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Climate change |  The oil giants have known about this since “at least” the 1960s, the report says.

Climate change | The oil giants have known about this since “at least” the 1960s, the report says.

(New York) The world's major oil and gas companies have realized “at least” since the 1960s that fossil fuels would cause global warming, but they insisted on denying it and even practiced deception, according to a report by American parliamentarians.


“For more than half a century, big oil companies have deceived the American public about their role in the climate crisis, doing everything they could to keep the United States and the world dependent on their polluting products,” the report condemns. An investigative committee made up of House-elected Democrats was released Tuesday.

“Big Oil” are the six giant companies and organizations examined during this investigation that began in September 2021: ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP America, Shell, the American Petroleum Institute (API) – representing the oil sector – and the Chamber of Commerce.

“All six […] “Obstructed and delayed” this investigation by refusing to provide “despite subpoenas,” asserts the 65-page report titled “Denial, Disinformation, and Doublespeak: The Evolution of ‘Big Oil’ Efforts to Avoid Responsibility for Climate Change.”

The report notes that after describing climate change as a “hoax” and denying its very existence, the oil sector was forced to “change its position” in the face of science “which has become too overwhelming to continue to deny.”

He then continues: “They developed a campaign of deception and doublespeak – supported by a fleet of professional organizations – by publicly claiming to support climate action, but taking behind-the-scenes action to avoid it.”

Responsibilities

Natural gas is “safe” for the climate and can serve as a “transitional energy toward a fossil-free future,” elected officials say.

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“It is time to hold major oil companies accountable for their campaign of deception and take action to address the damage they have caused,” the report concludes.

ExxonMobil told AFP that these are “old allegations that have already been addressed during congressional hearings on this topic and during the legal proceedings.”

“As we've said time and time again, climate change is real, and an entire branch of our group is dedicated to reducing emissions — our own and others',” he continued, saying his annual budget is one-third of the US Environmental Protection Agency's. (Environmental Protection Agency).

For its part, an API spokesperson noted that the sector is “focused on providing reliable, affordable oil and gas to Americans while developing next-generation low-emission technologies such as hydrogen and carbon dioxide capture.”2 “.

He added: “Any suggestion otherwise is inaccurate.”

This is not the first time that oil companies have been shown to have known for several decades the harmful impact of fossil fuels on the climate.

The issue was raised during the hearings conducted by this parliamentary committee, before which the major oil companies were put under the grill.

In January 2023, a study published in the journal Science revealed the remarkable accuracy of ExxonMobil scientists’ predictions of rising temperatures, some of which date back to 1977.

But in 2000, the group's chief executive, Lee Raymond, said he did not have “sufficient scientific understanding of climate change to make reasonable predictions.”

Several legal actions have already been launched, particularly against the company in the United States.

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