Exxon in the dock

In the US the trial of ExxonMobil has started, where the company is defending itself against charges that it lied to investors about the cost of carbon emissions to its business.

The, brought by the State of New York and concerns the pricing of carbon under regulation. The company has been estimating a price internally to model how regulation could affect the business since 2010.

However, it used two methodologies and two differing prices resulted, one presented to investors and another in internal documents, effectively making potential returns on investment from fossil-fuels appear more favourable and investment in in clean energy appear less profitable.

Exxon believes that this is legitimate – New York disagrees, and calls it fraudulent, exposing investors to higher risk from climate regulation. Prosecutors allege that such ‘misstatements’ have cost shareholders up to $1.6bn.

The case comes as the company faces several other lawsuits, including from Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Baltimore.

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