November 6, 2015

Malcolm Turnbull urged to drop investments in Exxon Mobil – the company lied for years to cover up the climate crisis

SYDNEY, 6th November: After discovering that Malcolm Turnbull has private investments[1] in the world’s largest and wealthiest oil and gas company — Exxon Mobil — Australia is urging the Prime Minister to divest from the company that lied for years to cover up the causes of climate change.

“Malcolm Turnbull – the guy who called Tony Abbott’s failure to tackle climate “bullsh*t” – is investing in a company that knew their product was causing climate change in the 1970s but spent decades covering it up,” said Australia Campaigns Director Charlie Wood.

It was recently revealed that, In 1977, 11 years before James Hansen made climate change a public issue, Exxon conducted the very first research that proved fossil fuels cause global warming. But, instead of releasing the information, they ran misinformation and denial campaigns that have successfully slowed our response to climate change. [2]

“No corporation has ever done anything this big or bad,” It is “unparalleled evil,” said co-founder Bill McKibben.

“If Exxon had made their findings public, we might have avoided the enormous suffering that climate change is now inflicting upon thousands of communities worldwide. From the loss of our Pacific Island neighbours’ homes to raging bushfires and devastating storms. From crippling droughts to terrifying typhoons and tsunamis that spare no lives. These injustices are on Exxon’s watch, said Wood.

“Yet, whilst US Senators call for a Federal Investigation into Exxon’s unforgivable behaviour, our Prime Minister is investing his money in them.

“In a few weeks, world leaders will meet in Paris to come up with a plan to tackle the devastating climate impacts that Exxon has fuelled. But Australia won’t be taken seriously in Paris if our Prime Minister turns up with investments in a company that has worked for decades to make meetings like Paris fail.

Senator Larissa Waters has written to the US Attorney General urging her to initiate a Federal Investigation into Exxon’s actions on climate. Overnight, the New York attorney general has also begun a sweeping investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change. [3]

Contact: Krista Collard-Pearce 0424 712 034


[1] On August 18th, the Australian Financial Review published a list of Turnbull’s investments; they include the SPDR S&P 500 Fund, whose 3rd largest holding is Exxon Mobil.

[2] Exxon’s Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels’ Role in Global Warming Decades Ago, Inside Climate News, 16 September 2015.

[3] Exxon Mobil investigated in New York over Possible Lies on Climate, The New York Times, 5 November 2015.