Paris — ExxonMobil has knowingly misled the public for decades about the danger climate change poses to a warming world and the company’s long-term viability, according to a peer-reviewed study of research and statements by the US oil giant. Released on Wednesday, the analysis of nearly 200 documents spanning decades found that 80% of scientific studies and internal memos acknowledged that global warming was real and caused by humans, while the same proportion of hundreds of paid editorials in major US newspapers over the same period cast deep doubt on these widely accepted facts. The study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, also cites ExxonMobil calculations that capping global warming at under 2°C — the goal enshrined in the landmark Paris climate accord — would impose sharp limits on the amount of fossil fuels that could be burnt, and thus potentially affect the firm’s growth. Both findings are relevant to ongoing investigations by state and federal attorne...

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