On February 26th, 2008, the native Inupiat village of Kivalina Alaska brought suit against nine oil companies (including ExxonMobil Corp.), fourteen power companies and one coal company in a lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco for damages related to climate change.

Kivalina’s complaint states that “global warming is destroying Kivalina through the melting of Arctic sea ice that formerly protected the village from winter storms… [and] the village thus must be relocated soon or be abandoned and cease to exist.” In support of this lawsuit, the complaint cites reports from the U.S. Government Accountability Office and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that tie erosion in coastal areas of Alaska to global warming.Kivalina’s causes of action:

  1. 1. Kivalina is seeking monetary damages from defendants in a public nuisance action for defendant’s contributions to global warming through emissions of large quantities of greenhouse gases
  2. 2. Kivalina is also asserting claims seeking monetary damages for civil conspiracy and concert of action against certain defendants (primarily ExxonMobil) for participation in conspiratorial and other actions intended to suppress the knowledge of the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, thereby furthering the defendants’ abilities to contribute to global warming.

Read the complaint.