“Those companies also knew, and we know this from their internal documents, that to avoid severe global warming they needed to act then. They needed to start replacing fossil fuels then. When governments tried to act, fossil fuel companies banded together and came up with a playbook to stop that from happening…
“We could see trials in this climate litigation. We could also see the biggest settlement in legal history potentially because the damages are so enormous.”
Benjamin Franta is the founder of the Climate Litigation Lab at the University of Oxford, informing climate litigation around the world. The lab researches how to bring—and win— lawsuits against companies, institutions, and individuals who have aided and abetted public deception, the suppression of information, and put the whole world in danger by driving the climate crisis.
In the episode, Ben reveals the “fossil fuel playbook”, explaining the industry’s long history of suppressing information about its impacts on the climate, and twisting the arms of the powerful in order to stop governmental action. He also discusses the lawsuits happening around the world, the fossil fuel defence, and what we can learn from these cases to reform the intimate relationship between corporate and political interests.
Planet: Critical investigates why the world is in crisis—and what to do about it.