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Chevron Corporation (CVX) Neglects Disclosure of Climate Risk

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Oil giant's fourth quarter earnings report fails to fully disclose future liabilities of climate risk and Ecuadorean legal battle
Friday, January 29, 2010

 

San Francisco - As Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) announces its 4th quarterly earnings today, Rainforest Action Network cautions Chevron investors and shareholders against the company‚s outstanding investment risks and liabilities. The oil company continues to downplay risks associated with their global greenhouse gas emissions and the potential $27 billion liability for contaminating a huge swath of the Ecuadorean rainforest.

"As Chevron announces its 4th quarter earnings, investors are eagerly awaiting signs from new CEO John Watson that he intends to change Chevron and to reduce the oil giant‚s risk and liabilities,‰ said Maria Ramos, Change Chevron Campaign Director at Rainforest Action Network. „Until Chevron fairly resolves their outstanding conflict in Ecuador and begins to aggressively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, any investment in Chevron is a bad investment.‰

Just yesterday, in a 3-to-2 vote, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission determined that companies „must consider the effects of global warming and efforts to curb climate change when disclosing business risks to investors.‰ Chevron‚s Richmond oil refinery was California‚s largest emitter of greenhouse gases last year, pumping out 4.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and related greenhouse gases. With impending state, national, and international policies intended to limit greenhouse gas emissions, by putting a price on carbon, Chevron ˆ one of the largest oil companies in the world ˆ faces enormous future liabilities that it is failing to fully disclose.

Chevron's legal problems are on the rise, and with them investors‚ exposure to risk. The company is already facing a $27.3 billion pollution judgment in an Ecuadorean court over Chevron‚s toxic legacy in the Amazon rainforest. This week, The New York Times reported that "courts are emerging as battlefield for fights over climate change" with cases being filed that hold energy and utility companies financially responsible for the adverse impacts of climate change, such as eroding coastlines. Chevron is likely to see themselves at the center of many more legal challenges until they improve their environment and human rights record.

The company is already facing growing concerns from investors and institutional shareholders for a range of risky business practices. Several resolutions have been filed in advance of this year‚s shareholder meeting seeking to mitigate the company‚s risk exposure through greater environmental and human rights protections and disclosure of full financial risks of climate change.

For more information, visit www.ChangeChevron.org.

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Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org

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