New York City

NYC sues five major oil companies over climate change

January 10, 2018 Associated Press
In this Jan. 19, 2016 file photo, a man watches a BP refinery in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. New York City officials say they will begin the process of dumping about $5 billion in pension fund investments in fossil fuel companies, including BP, because of environmental concerns. AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File

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.

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.