New York City suing major oil companies over global warming

New York City suing major oil companies over global warming

New York City suing major oil companies over global warming

New York City delivered a powerful blow to the fossil fuel industry by launching a climate change lawsuit against the biggest oil companies and promising to dump billions of dollars of fossil fuel stocks.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will be seeking billions in the lawsuit to recoup money spent by the city for resiliency efforts related to climate change.

The lawsuit seeks to recover billions of dollars in damages from BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell for their role in creating - and perpetuating - climate change.

"The city seeks to shift the costs of protecting the city from climate change impacts back onto the companies that have done almost all they could to create this existential threat", reads the lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of NY.

Mayor de Blasio, said: "New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major United States city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels". A spokesman for BP declined to comment to the AP. In addition to New York City, one other non-Californian city - Boulder, Colorado - has indicated an interest in filing a lawsuit against fossil fuel companies for their role in climate change.

Curtis Smith, a Shell spokesman, said the company believes "climate change is a complex societal challenge that should be addressed through sound government policy and cultural change to drive low-carbon choices for businesses and consumers, not by the courts".

The growing movement to hold fossil fuel companies financially responsible for the damages associated with climate change scored a major ally on Wednesday, as New York City announced that it would be filing a lawsuit against five of the largest fossil fuel companies in the world.

Clara Vondrich of the DivestInvest campaign says hundreds of institutional investors managing assets of over $5.5 trillion have taken their money out of fossil fuels.

Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans to have the state pension funds also divest from fossil fuel investments.

The New York lawsuit follows recent ones filed by San Francisco, Oakland and other California cities and counties.

Kyle Isakower, vice president of the American Petroleum Institute, has previously said that divestment is a "tactic of misinformed activists" that is "incompatible with job creation, affordable energy, and economic prosperity".

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