Tell It to the Judge, Big Oil
Presented in Partnership with Sierra magazine
The drumbeats demanding that the fossil fuel giants be held accountable for sparking the climate crisis are getting louder. Here in the U.S., more cities, states, and counties keep filing lawsuits seeking compensation from the oil giants for climate-related damages and to fund adaptation projects. Last spring, a Dutch court found multinational Shell Oil guilty of violating human rights and ordered the company to slash its emissions, and many other international lawsuits against fossil fuel corporations are pending.
Author and investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz, Greenpeace International attorney Michelle Jonker-Argueta, and Carroll Muffett of the Center for International Environmental Laws discuss the latest twists and turns in the global effort to hold the oil companies accountable for their deception and delay. Moderated by Jason Mark, editor in chief of Sierra magazine.
This discussion took place at the 2021 Bioneers Conference.
Antonia Juhasz, one of the nation and the world’s leading, award-winning investigative journalists and writers on energy and climate whose bylines include Rolling Stone, Harper’s, The New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN.com, The Nation, The Guardian and many more, is the author of three books, including: Black Tide and The Tyranny of Oil. An adjunct lecturer at Tulane University, she is a 2020-2021 Bertha Fellow in Investigative Journalism and has held many prestigious journalism fellowships at leading universities in the past decade. Antonia has traveled all over the world in her investigations of oil extraction’s impacts and founded and runs the (Un)Covering Oil Investigative Reporting Program sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists.
Michelle Jonker-Argueta, J.D., acting Senior Legal Counsel for Strategic Litigation at Greenpeace International, advises campaigns on the development and implementation of strategic litigation to hold governments and corporations accountable for climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as the resulting human rights violations. An attorney registered with the New York Bar who holds a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School, she is also a Dutch lawyer.
Carroll Muffett, President of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), a nonprofit that uses the power of law to protect the environment, promote human rights, and ensure a just and sustainable society, is an expert on international environmental law and a leader in the emerging fields of climate litigation and climate-related financial and legal risks. He is lead researcher on a number of CIEL investigations, including on the oil industry’s nefarious role in: climate science, geo-engineering, the global plastics crisis, and carbon capture. He is also a member of the Commission on Environmental Law of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and on the board of the Climate Accountability Institute.
Jason Mark is the editor-in-chief of Sierra (the magazine of the Sierra Club) and the author of Satellites in the High Country: Searching for the Wild in the Age of Man. His writings on the environment have also appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and The Nation, among many other publications.