The uber-liberal mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, is leading the charge against the biggest oil companies in the world, claiming they owe the City of New York billions for the damage brought on by climate change. As The New York Post reports, the de Blasio administration has filed a federal suit against several major oil companies for what the suit claims is their role in climate change:
“The city seeks to shift the costs of protecting the city from climate change impacts back onto the companies that have done nearly all they could to create this existential threat,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of New York.
It names as defendants BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell — which the court papers allege have produced more than 11 percent of the world’s carbon and methane pollution from industrial sources “since the dawn of the industrial revolution.”
The Washington Post reports that so far, the oil companies that are commenting are denying the claims in the suit:
ExxonMobil spokesman Scott Silvestri says the company has made good faith attempts to address climate change. He says lawsuits don’t accomplish that goal. Shell’s spokesman echoed that sentiment.
In addition to launching the lawsuit, de Blasio announced that New York City will divest any and all investments it holds in fossil fuel companies. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said state funds would also divest from oil investments held through pensions and other funds.
The move was applauded by environmental activist and celebrity globe-trotter Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio, known for flying around the world to accept environmental awards and attend galas while staying on private, gas-guzzling yachts, took to Twitter to praise de Blasio's announcement.