With assistance from SFALP students, San Francisco filed a groundbreaking lawsuit in 2017 against the five largest fossil-fuel companies in the world — BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips Company, ExxonMobil, and Shell. The lawsuit contends that these defendants have substantially contributed to the public nuisance of global warming, in part by engaging in a large-scale, sophisticated advertising and public-relations campaign to promote pervasive fossil fuel usage and portray fossil fuels as environmentally responsible. San Francisco alleges that Defendants engaged in this campaign even as they knew that fossil fuels would contribute to dangerous global warming and associated sea level rise. The City seeks an order requiring Defendants to fund an abatement program to offset these future costs.

 

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