November 8, 2019

Step by step, you are reining in corporate power

“This fraud reached the highest levels of the company.”

That was New York Attorney General Letitia James in the lead-up to the first hearing in the lawsuit against Exxon for fraudulently deceiving investors about its business and climate change. In the very same week, U.S. members of Congress held a public hearing on Exxon’s decades of deception and knowingly fueling climate change. Shortly after these hearings, news broke that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is suing Exxon too.

Big Polluters like the fossil fuel industry have caused and are continuing to cause grave damage to people and to our planet. And we know all people are not impacted by this crisis equally: Around the world, low-income communities, indigenous people, youth, communities of color, and people in the Global South are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.

That’s why earlier this month you joined with tens of thousands of people and dozens of organizations to demand government officials worldwide take action to kick Big Polluters out of climate policy; to make Big Polluters pay for the damage they’ve caused; to fund real, just solutions to address the climate crisis.

These hearings are a huge step forward. Elected officials are clearly paying attention. And right now is a critical moment to keep up momentum. If you haven’t already, take a moment to write to your members of Congress and your state Attorney General and urge them to take action to hold the fossil fuel industry liable for their decades of deception.

And keep reading for even more ways you have challenged corporate power this month.


Corporate Accountability staff member with bullhornFor decades, abusive transnational corporations have operated with impunity, especially targeting Global South communities of color. Earlier this month, a Corporate Accountability team, in coalition with allies, successfully organized with governments to advance the next draft of a binding U.N. treaty to stop corporate human rights abuses. Though this draft treaty would not stop such abuses overnight, it would shift power away from massive corporations and toward people and democratic international institutions. It could save lives and protect our well-being and our communities. Read more about what you made possible around this treaty.


FaucetOn October 15, the people of Flint marked a grim milestone: two thousand days since their city’s water supply was switched to the filthy Flint River, triggering an ongoing water crisis. But you aren’t letting the world forget this crisis. Together, we’re exposing the injustice of the racist emergency management system and the role private water giant Veolia played in Flint. And people like you stepped up and donated over $3,000 to help local organizers at allied organization Flint Rising, who are supporting their fellow Flint residents to secure access to safe water. If you haven’t yet, you can still donate to Flint Rising to support their critical work.


SmokeThanks to your actions over the past few years, the International Labour Organization (ILO) finally closed the tobacco industry’s last major avenue of influence at the U.N. The tobacco industry has long benefited from partnerships like the one with the ILO in order to distract from its role in driving the global tobacco epidemic and the human rights issues in its supply chain, especially in Global South countries. It’s a huge victory, and it moves us toward governments holding Big Tobacco accountable for its dangerous and deadly business practices — including its treatment of workers. Read even more about the ILO’s decision.

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