New York Sues Fossil Fuel Majors and Pension Funds

Sunday, 14 Jan, 2018

With New York City filing a lawsuit against some oil companies for allegedly contributing to global warming, some experts are expecting it to build momentum inside the United States, while the affected firms are calling it a ploy to politicise climate change. The funds together are worth $189 billion. According to authorities, this will be the largest initiative in the world.

Commenting on the news that New York City is divesting its massive pension fund from fossil fuels, McKibben says "its decision signals the start of a real rout". "With continued worsening climate change, fossil fuel companies, which greed has put us in this position, have to take the cost of making NY a safer and more flexible place to live", added he.

"The City will be seeking damages from BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell for the billions of dollars the City will spend to protect New Yorkers from the effects of climate change", a statement from the Mayor's office said Wednesday. The authorities also want to redirect the cost of protecting NY from natural disasters to corporations that "have done just about everything to create this existential threat", said Bill de Blasio.

"New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major U.S. city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels", said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday, the Guardian reports.

"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 NY safer and more resilient".

Similar initiatives, such as those of the city government, have also been made on the West Coast.

In reaction to the lawsuits that already have been filed by the California municipalities, Exxon threatened a counter-lawsuit for "abuse of government power", while Shell said that climate change "is a complex societal challenge" that should be addressed through government policies and cultural changes, and "not by the courts", the Washington Post reported.