The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Meno,,

CCI Statement on Charleston Climate Lawsuit

Charleston, SC, Is First Southern City to Sue Big Oil for Climate Change Damages 

CHARLESTON, South Carolina

The City of Charleston, South Carolina, today filed a state lawsuit against 24 fossil fuel companies, including Exxon, Shell, Chevron, and BP, to hold them accountable for lying about climate change harms they knew their products would cause.

Charleston is the 21st community in the United States to file a lawsuit seeking to hold Big Oil accountable for lying about climate change since 2017, and the first in the South. Today's lawsuit comes one week after Hoboken, New Jersey, filed a similar lawsuit against many of the same companies.

A copy of the lawsuit is available here:

Richard Wiles, executive director of the Center for Climate Integrity, released the following statement:

Big Oil's lies have stuck cities like Charleston with multi-billion dollar bills to protect against climate-driven flooding and sea-level rise. Now those same companies face an ever-growing flood of lawsuits to hold them accountable for their decades of deception.

With today's filing, Big Oil is facing climate lawsuits on both coasts, in the northeast, the midwest, the south, the Rocky Mountains, and even Hawaii. The public is ready to hold this corrupt industry accountable for causing and lying about climate change, and officials across the country are stepping up to take action.

As climate change floods cities like Charleston, Big Oil is now knee deep in lawsuits seeking justice for decades of the industry's lying about their central role in causing the problem.

Background on Climate Litigation:

Since 2017, 21 communities, including more than a dozen city and county governments in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Washington, and now South Carolina, along with the states of Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia, have brought lawsuits under different claims to recover billions of dollars damages caused by the oil and gas industry's deception about climate change. Learn about those other cases here.

This year, three separate federal appeals courts ruled that cases in California, Colorado, and Maryland should proceed in state court.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has pledged that if elected president he would order his Department of Justice to "strategically support ongoing plaintiff-driven climate litigation against polluters."

The Center for Climate Integrity (CCI) helps cities and states across the country hold corporate polluters accountable for the massive impacts of climate change.

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