New York City has announced that it will divest $5 billion from fossil fuels and bring lawsuits against the world’s largest oil companies for their contribution to global warming. “New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major US city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels,” New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“At the same time, we’re bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits. 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 New York safer and more resilient,” he added.
The city’s officials set a goal of divesting its $189 billion pension funds from oil companies within 5 years. Currently, New York City has five pensions and between them they have about $5 billion in fossil fuel investments. New York state is also exploring ways to divest from fossil fuels.
The city is suing five oil companies: BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell, over their contribution to climate change. Court documents say that New York has suffered from flooding and erosion due to climate change and is looking to shift the costs of those damages back to the companies. The filings state that just 100 fossil fuel producers are responsible for nearly two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions, with the five named companies being the largest contributors.
“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 New York safer and more resilient,” Mayor De Blasio said.