A federal judge just tossed out a lawsuit brought against the world's largest oil companies for selling fuels they knew would boost sea levels and disrupt the global climate. This decision, on its surface, is a victory for big oil. But the fight against these huge companies and their roles in causing climate change is far from over. The suit thrown out on Monday -- which was filed by San Francisco and Oakland -- won't doom similar lawsuits by New York, Colorado and six others in California against big oil for the damages wrought by future floods, droughts, and wildfire. "The overall effect on those state cases is negligible," Ann Carlson, the director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the UCLA School of Law, said in an interview.
The Republic of Ireland will become the world's first country to sell off its investments in fossil fuel companies, after a bill was passed with all-party support in the lower house of parliament. The state's €8bn national investment fund will be required to sell all investments in coal, oil, gas and peat "as soon as is practicable", which is expected to mean within five years. Norway's huge $1tn sovereign wealth fund has only partially divested from fossil fuels, targeting some coal companies, and is still considering its oil and gas holdings. The fossil fuel divestment movement has grown rapidly and trillions of dollars of investment funds have been divested, including large pension funds and insurers, cities such as New York, churches and universities. Supporters of divestment say existing fossil fuel resources are already far greater than can be burned without causing catastrophic climate change and that exploring and producing more fossil fuels is therefore morally wrong and economically risky.
It's a low, industrial town, and 2,900 acres of it is an oil refinery. Chevron is Richmond's biggest employer, and through taxes contributes about a quarter of the city's total budget. Chevron is also Richmond's eternal nemesis. Industrial accidents are an ongoing issue. A fire at the refinery in 2012 sent 15,000 people to hospitals, resulting in a city lawsuit and a $5 million settlement.