Energy company fined $18bn for contaminating Amazon

A court in Ecuador upheld a landmark ruling against Chevron for environmental pollution

An appeals court in Ecuador has upheld an $18bn fine issued to energy company Chevron in February 2011 for deliberate contamination of the area by Texaco. Chevron inherited the lawsuit when it bought Texaco in 2001.

The decision represents the largest fine of its kind and is the result of an 18-year legal battle on behalf of 30,000 indigenous people and farmers in Ecuador.

The pressure group Amazon Watch said: “For a second time, in a jurisdiction of its own choosing, Chevron was found guilty of widespread oil contamination in Ecuador’s Amazon. It is a historic triumph for the thousands of victims who have suffered for over four decades from Chevron’s drill-and-dump practices.”

Chevron also faces fines of up to $11bn for negligence in its operations in Brazil and if convicted, will be permanently banned from doing business in the country.