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New York City Suing Oil Companies Over Climate Change
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Summary: New York City is suing the fossil fuel industry for allegedly causing global warming. 

New York City is fighting global warming in court. On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said they are divesting the city’s pension funds from fossil fuels, which means that $5 billion in investments will be taken away from coal and oil companies.

  
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De Blasio said that the $191 billion in pension funds will be divested from fossil fuel companies, according to IFL Science. New York City is thus the first city to make such a move, and it reportedly was the largest fossil fuel investor of any municipality to date.

“New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major US city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels,” said de Blasio. “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.”

In addition to this, New York City is suing five major oil organizations: ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips. The metropolitan claims that the oil companies played a key role in climate change, and it is asking for the energy giants to pay for defensive measures to stave off global warming-related damage.

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De Blasio said that the recent hurricanes have been proof of climate change. At a press conference this week, he said that New York City has sympathy for Puerto Rico, which is still trying to recoup from Hurricane Maria, and that climate change cannot be ignored.

“If there were any deniers before Hurricane Sandy, I don’t think there were any more afterwards,” the mayor said. “Today, we are talking about breaking the cycle. It’s time that things change. It’s time to change how we do business.”



De Blasio said they were going after people who profited from the environmental destruction, and he called it “horrible” and “disgusting.”

New York City’s stance to fight climate change is a contrast to the Trump administration, which has denied the phenomenon. The White House has actively scrubbed references of climate change on its websites, and Donald Trump removed the United States from the international environmental initiative, the Paris Climate Agreement.

IFL Science said that New York’s climate change fight comes as no surprise. De Blasio is a Democrat who has been known for his climate advocacy, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was a co-founder of the Climate Alliance, a group that was in favor of the Paris agreement.

To prepare for climate change, de Blasio said the city had spent nearly $20 million “shoring up coastal, water, and sewer infrastructure and developing programs to keep the public healthy,” according to The Verge.

What do you think of New York City’s decision? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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