10 january 2018

New York City suing major oil companies over global warming

By Rebecca Savransky, The Hill, 10 January 2018

New York City is suing five oil companies over climate change.

The city is suing BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, according to The Associated Press.

New York alleges the five major oil companies have played a role in global warming, the AP reported and is seeking to recoup billions of dollars spent preparing for climate change.

The city previously said it was going to divest its five pension funds from fossil fuel companies, according to the AP.

In a statement about plans to divest, de Blasio said New York City is "standing up for future generations by becoming the first major US city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels."

“At the same time, we’re bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits," he said.

"As climate change continues to worsen, it’s up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient.”

"ExxonMobil welcomes any well-meaning and good faith attempt to address the risks of climate change. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global issue and requires global participation and actions," the company said in a statement. "Lawsuits of this kind — filed by trial attorneys against an industry that provides products we all rely upon to power the economy and enable our domestic life – simply do not do that," they added.

A spokesman for Shell said the issue of global warming is not one that should be handled in the courts. A spokesman for BP declined to comment to the AP.

Last year, San Francisco and Oakland sued the five major oil companies, blaming them for the effects of climate change. The cities in September each filed a lawsuit in their respective county courts against the oil companies.

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