An unprecedented lawsuit against US oil giant Exxon Mobil due to climate change in New York is pending.
The state accused the company of misleading investors about the potential costs of climate regulation for their business.
Exxon According to their own statements, the required information has been disclosed and the allegations are politically motivated.
The case is at the forefront of an increasing number of legal actions against oil and gas companies.
The trial of Exxon for fraud allegations will begin on Tuesday and Thursday is expected to take 15 days. Former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who led Exxon for a decade, is likely to appear in court.
"This is an important milestone in a growing wave of cases faced by Exxon and other major oil companies," said Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law.
New York's attorney general filed a lawsuit for financial fraud in 2018, after years of investigation by state authorities.
In court records, the state indicates that internal documents prove that Exxon has assessed new projects based on climate change costs forecasts lower than those it communicated to investors.  These calculations made investments less risky and more valuable.
"By exposing ExxonMobil to higher carbon cost forecasts than it actually used, it made its fortune seem significant. This had a much safer impact than it really was," the state wrote.
Exxon does not dispute the claim that it used two calculations to assess the cost of a possible regulation.
However, the company argues that these calculations are "proprietary" and investors are not misled.
"Reasonable investors who reviewed ExxonMobil's information recognized that climate risk played a role in ExxonMobil's decision-making, which could have been anything," it says.
Activists pushed Exxon for years to become more transparent about how climate change impacted his business.
According to analysts, the New York case is an example of experiments in which governments try to hold companies accountable for climate change.
Rhode Island has filed a claim against Exxon and BP claiming damages along its coastline. Authorities in the Philippines and Canada are also investigating fossil fuel companies.
In recent weeks, the Attorney General in Massachusetts has announced plans to proceed with a case in which Exxon is accused of misleading marketing.
"Notwithstanding the outcome [of the New York case]the reality is clear and not inevitable that the future of Exxon and [other fossil fuel] companies is filled with litigation and will only grow." Mr. Muffett said.