New York City is suing five major oil companies, claiming they have contributed to global warming.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will be seeking billions in the lawsuit to recoup money spent by the city for resiliency efforts related to climate change.
The defendants in the city’s federal lawsuit are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell.
A BP spokesman declined comment. A Shell spokesman said climate change is a complex issue that should not be addressed by the courts. The other three did not immediately comment.
The lawsuit follows the city’s announcement that it plans to divest its pension funds from fossil fuel companies.
New York City officials are citing climate change as their motivation to join a growing number of entities divesting themselves of financial interest in fossil fuels.
Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH’-zee-oh) and Comptroller Scott Stringer are set to announce plans on Wednesday to divest the city’s five pension funds of roughly $5 billion in fossil fuel investments out of its total of $189 billion.
Clara Vondrich of the DivestInvest campaign says hundreds of institutional investors managing assets of over $5.5 trillion have taken their money out of fossil fuels.
The American Petroleum Institute has previously said the divestment movement is misguided.
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH’-moh) also plans to have the state pension funds begin to divest.