Exxon Mobil was the subject of a mock trial in Paris conducted as a side event to the prominent COP21 since November 30th.
Activists, scientists and prominent figures participated in the mock trial, bringing forth a moratorium of evidence to prove Exxon Mobil’s complicity in holding back climate change evidence. The mock trial lasted for two hours and brought together almost 300 people.
Exxon Mobil is currently investigated in New York under the allegation that the company has withheld important evidence about climate change ever since the 1970s. After a number of documents have emerged this year, Exxon Mobil has repeatedly sustained that the company had no knowledge of climate change occurring as it is alleged.
Still, a report of the company’s in-house research team recognized in the 1970s that burning fossil fuels triggers emissions levels driving a rampant global warming. The investigation that brought the documents to light has been conducted by LA Times and Inside Climate News.
Exxon Mobil is facing mounting public pressure following the investigation. Nonetheless, the Texas-based company is now as it has back then covering up evidence. Exxon Mobil also faces charges of discrediting climate science and scientific consensus. To this extent, the New York based investigation is also looking into the deliberate setting up of think tanks and research centers the sole purpose of which was to spread climate change denial, helping the continuation of harmful fossil fuel subsidies.
As early as last month, one spokesperson of Exxon Mobil declared:
“We unequivocally reject allegations that Exxon Mobil suppressed climate change research contained in media reports that are inaccurate distortions of Exxon Mobil’s nearly 40-year history of climate research”.
Against this background, Exxon Mobil was the subject of a mock trial in Paris, just within some miles distance from the UN COP21 climate summit. Of course, the defendant was absent. Which hasn’t stopped Bill McKibben or Naomi Klein from taking the floor as witnesses in the mock trial.
Not for one second did the mock trial fall into mockery or weak arguments. From the witnesses’ perspective, recounting Exxon Mobil’s climate change-related lies was all they had to do.
Naomi Klein declared that the result of Exxon Mobil’s misinformation campaign is mirrored in the stance of the U.S. Senate on any legally binding targets on emissions. Other witnesses in the mock trial explained how global warming is mirrored in the warming Arctic, affecting livelihoods. Another Nigerian activist spoke of the pollution of the Niger Delta due to Exxon Mobil’s activity in the region.
Exxon Mobil was collectively called a ‘corporate serial killer’ and Bill McKibben concluded that it is unforgivable to misinform and deliberately cover up scientific evidence pointing to a rampant climate change.
The judges in the mock trial, including Peter Sarsgaard gave the verdict: inconclusive, as guilty would have been far too easy.
Photo Credits: Flickr