NY sues oil companies, plans divestment from pension funds

NY sues oil companies, plans divestment from pension funds

The motion would also request that the city file an amicus brief in support of the NY and California lawsuits.

New York City follows cities and counties in and that have either filed or announced pending climate impact litigation.

Four Los Angeles City Council members Friday called on the city to file a lawsuit against large oil companies and seek to hold them responsible for damage to the city from climate change. The city's move is among the most significant divestment efforts in the world to date.

However, he acknowledged that the lawsuit against BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell - which says that the companies were aware for years that burning fossil fuels caused climate change, but hid the conclusions of their scientists - could take years to reach a resolution. The mayor's office noted in a recent statement that Hurricane Sandy was a lesson for us on climate change's destructivity.

In addition to the lawsuit, New York City intends to divest the approximately $5 billion the city's pension funds have invested in over 190 fossil fuel companies. NY state had previously subpoenaed (request for evidence by court order) documents from Exxon, in 2016, in a bid to uncover whether the oil company misled investors over the risks of climate change.

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.

Both theories have been used to attack polluters, though not on the scale of global climate change. Activists, students and voters packed an auditorium at the Borough of Manhattan Community College for hours, recounting stories of asthma exacerbated by air pollution and homes flooded by rising waters.

His position as Mayor is to run the city and not to tour the country promoting his progressive political agenda.

Still, air pollution hit an a year ago after the city tightened heating oil rules.

In the short-term, annual pension costs are hitting levels not seen since New York's economic crisis in the late 1970s. Representatives of some of those organizations spoke Wednesday in NY.

Bill McKibben, one of the co-founders 350.org, said in a statement that NYC stepping up to the plate in this matter is a huge step in battling fossil fuel emissions.

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