New York City Suing Five Oil Companies Over Global Warming

New York City Suing Five Oil Companies Over Global Warming

New York City Suing Five Oil Companies Over Global Warming

The city is seeking damages from BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell for "billions of dollars".

The environmentalists said they are also pleased with an announcement from Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James about the city's plans to sue five major oil companies over the effects of climate change.

The lawsuit was seeking damages to pay for both "harm that we've already seen" and "harm we expect to happen over the course of this century", it continued.

In a press release, the mayor's office said it would also be setting a goal to divest city funds from fossil fuel reserve owners within five years.

"This lawsuit is based upon the fundamental principle that a corporation that makes a product causing severe harm when used exactly as intended should shoulder the costs of abating that harm", New York City wrote in the lawsuit.

De Blasio also announced Wednesday that the city's pension funds will divest from fossil fuels, withdrawing about $5 billion from more than 190 fossil fuel companies within five years.

The New York City government is attempting to shift the costs of bracing the city for climate change onto the world's five largest publicly traded oil companies, which it claims "have done almost all they could to create this existential threat".

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A spokesperson for Chevron said the lawsuit was "factually and legally meritless", and that it "only serves special interests".

New York City Suing Five Oil Companies Over Global Warming

San Francisco, Oakland and seven other cities and counties in California have filed similar suits in state court, though some of these named only ExxonMobil as a defendant.

"This city is standing up and saying, 'We're going to take our own actions to protect our own people, '" the mayor said at the press conference.

"We believe the risk of climate change is real and we are committed to being part of the solution".

The other three companies didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Kenneth P. Cohen, a representative for Exxon, flatly denied suppressing climate change research. Hurricane Sandy, for example, required huge infrastructure investments and that storm is one whose intensity is viewed by scientists as worsened by climate change.

"The reality of this proposal is that divestment won't do anything to cut greenhouse gas emissions", said Netram. "The mayor's decision to play politics with underfunded pension plans and sue USA energy manufacturers is the same divisive approach we've seen fail time and again". On Wednesday co-founder Bill McKibben tweeted, "One of the biggest days in 30 years of the climate fight". "And this was a tragedy that was wrought by the actions of the fossil-fuel companies".

Legal experts have compared the wave of climate lawsuits to the lawsuits brought against the tobacco industry in the 1990s, which ultimately resulted in a $365.5 billion settlement wherein major tobacco producers agreed to pay into a fund to offset health-related tobacco costs.

It remains unclear whether a new wave of litigation - propelled by stronger climate science, reports about how much some companies knew about climate change decades ago, and somewhat divergent legal strategy - will succeed where those efforts failed.

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