The campaign that started it all
Evidence of deceit
In 2015, two independent investigations by InsideClimateNews and the Columbia Journalism School confirmed that Exxon executives had been warned by their own scientists that burning fossil fuels could lead to climate change. Internal presentations, memos to the C suite and the company's state-of-the-art climate models confirm that the Exxon was not only aware of threat but also of its "potentially catastrophic" consequences.
As these reports laid out — and subsequent legal complaints cite — the company willfully deceived the public about the scientific reality of climate change and downplayed global warming's severe economic and physical consequences.
Activists fighting for the environment and corporate accountability immediately rallied under the hashtag #ExxonKnew to demand Exxon be held accountable for the largest corporate campaign of deception in history. Across the globe, groups have worked to amplify evidence of Exxon's deceit and to encourage communities and leaders to hold Exxon accountable.
Those efforts, coupled with the damning evidence contained in Exxon's own internal documents, led to investigations by State Attorneys General in New York and Massachusetts that continue to this day. They also helped to pave the way for cities to take action to hold Exxon and other companies accountable for both misleading the public about the dangers of their product and the costly consequences that are playing out in cities all over the U.S. and abroad.