NY sues Exxon, others over climate change

New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies

It's taking some of the most powerful oil companies to task by suing them.

But de Blasio isn't stopping there.

Speaking along with others in New York City, de Blasio referred to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, a deadly storm that hit the city in 2012.

Both theories have been used to attack polluters, though not on the scale of global climate change.

Commenting on the news that New York City is divesting its massive pension fund from fossil fuels, McKibben says "its decision signals the start of a real rout". It's a painful, frightful reality. How we as a city, how we as a people, how we eight and a half million strong, will no longer participate in a system that endangers our very own people.

Part of New York City's vulnerability is that it is surrounded by water. And it's time to do something different in New York City, isn't it?

The lawsuit links global warming to extreme temperatures, severe snowfall, risen sea levels, and more flooding across the state. Filing a lawsuit against oil and gas companies is the solution and the answer to counter the existential threat of fracking. De Blasio's office said climate change is "perhaps the toughest challenge New York City will face in the coming decades".

The divestment itself will be brushed off by major fossil fuel companies but could help galvanize political action even as the Trump administration peels away environmental regulations and throws open more U.S. land and waters to drilling and mining.

"The divestment movement is active and growing and by its nature, NY will play a big leadership role", said Sachs.

Exxon is fighting a MA investigation as well.

The lawsuit, against BP Plc, Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, follows similar lawsuits filed a year ago by San Francisco and other California cities seeking billions of dollars in damages from rising sea levels due to climate impacts.

Such action is a departure from US President Donald Trump's position of ignoring the threats from climate change.

"Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global issue and requires global participation and actions", Exxon said in a statement.

Christiana Figueres, former United Nations climate chief and architect of the Paris climate agreement, added: "The exponential transition toward a fossil-fuel-free economy is unstoppable and local governments have a critical role to play".

Economists said the status of NY as a financial and cultural giant would probably spur other cities in the USA and worldwide to divest and, more significantly, build momentum in the global shift required to reduce emissions and stave off the worst consequences of climate change.

The move is bold and worthy, and it may now increase pressure on other towns and cities to follow suit.

- Write to your MP and raise your concerns about climate change and North Sea oil exploration.

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