New York City sues 'polluting' Shell, BP and others

11 January, 2018, 21:16 | Author: Teresa Adams
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"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", said de Blasio.

It has also sued five largest fossil fuel companies for their major contribution to the climate change and its impact on the City.

And the city filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against five big oil companies - BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell - looking to force them to help foot the bill for the $20 billion the city is spending to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy and protect itself against future storms. It also charges that the companies and the industry have known for some time about the "consequences of climate change" but sought to obscure them.

The city seeks damages for the impacts of climate change on the city.

The legal action and the divestment draw perhaps the starkest dividing line yet between NY and the Trump administration on climate change. "The mayor's announcement may raise his profile, but it will do nothing to address climate change and will ultimately fail". ExxonMobil has tried in court to stop that investigation, along with a parallel one being carried out by MA.

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De Blasio also said NY has filed a lawsuit against the five largest investor-owned fossil fuel companies as measured by their contributions to global warming. NY state has already announced it is exploring how to divest from fossil fuels.

"New York City today becomes a capital of the fight against climate change on this planet", said Bill McKibben, co-founder of climate group Exxon is one of the companies the city will sue. San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Oakland have done the same.

"Not to overstate the case, but I actually think this could change the world", Klein said.

"We will honour the Paris Agreement, regardless of the actions of our national government", he said.

A BP spokesman declined comment. "Should this litigation proceed, it will only serve special interests at the expense of broader policy, regulatory and economic priorities".

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ExxonMobil spokesman Scott Silvestri told the Associated Press that the company has made good faith attempts to address climate change. "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global issue and requires global participation and actions".

"To deal with what the future will inevitably bring, the City must build sea walls, levees, dunes, and other coastal armament, and elevate and harden a vast array of City-owned structures, properties, and parks along its coastline", the suit says. The funds are worth a total of $189 billion.

The suit does not specify how much money it is asking for from the oil companies in what it calls "compensatory damages", saying that should be established by the legal proceedings.

Later on Twitter, de Blasio added, "We are fighting for our lives and we will not wait for anyone else to do it for us". He detailed the 44 people who died in NY as a result of Sandy, as well as the estimated $19 billion in damages it caused, saying: "That is the face of climate change". Meanwhile, New York City officials have already estimated it will cost more than $19 billion to adapt to climate change. "This city is acting".

"It's complex, it will take time, and there are going to be many steps", said Stringer. "And what a awful disgusting way to profit in a way that has put so many people's lives in danger".

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The announcement made by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and other trustees of the City's $189bn pension funds, involves divestment of about $5bn in securities of almost 200 fossil fuel companies over the next five years.