New York City just declared war on the oil industry
New York City just declared war on the oil industry
A view of the Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown Texas 2008
13 January, 2018, 06:17
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and other trustees of the city's $189 billion pension funds announced today a plan to divest city funds from fossil fuel reserve owners within five years, which would make New York City the first major USA pension plan to do so.
The municipality said that climate change cost the city billions of dollars in efforts to revamp sewer infrastructure, shore up coastal areas, and protect drinking water sources.
New York City has announced a move that could mean a day of reckoning for the oil industry.
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.
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.
"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".
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Curtis Smith, a Shell spokesman, that the company believes "climate change is a complex societal challenge that should be addressed through sound government policy and cultural change to drive low-carbon choices for businesses and consumers, not by the courts". The New Yorkers' pension funds are now worth $189 billion.
The case against the fossil fuel companies state that they've imperiled the city and cost an enormous amount of money to taxpayers as NY fights flooding and erosion caused by climate change. "Deliberately hurting pension holders, like the fine men and women who keep our city safe, is a disgraceful way to score cheap political points".
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". Campaigners used the second anniversary of the Paris agreementto call for more effort to encourage divestment from fossil fuels. In September, de Blasio's rollout of a new set of mandates to cut emissions from big buildings from the New York City Council, which accused the mayor of acting unilaterally and failing to go far enough with the proposed rules.
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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