New York is known for its harsh winter conditions. The city may look like a winter wonderland come Christmas time but the cold climes has been very brutal lately. Apparently, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is a big believer in global warming and has had enough.
The city has decided to sue five oil companies that it has identified as responsible for climate change. The five oil companies are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell.
The suit alleges that the five companies are largely to blame for global warming. New York is seeking to recoup billions of dollars that the city has invested to prepare for worsening weather conditions.
In an earlier statement, de Blasio disclosed the city’s plans of divesting its five pension funds from fossil fuel companies:
“New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major US city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels.
“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.”
Is the suit more of a publicity stunt; a gimmick to symbolize the reality of global warming and its effects on damaging ecological life? Or is there strong legal basis to the suit; that there is compelling evidence to link the five oil companies to worsening climate conditions?
Regardless of the motive, the oil companies have issued statements through their representatives:
“ExxonMobil welcomes any well-meaning and good faith attempt to address the risks of climate change. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global issue and requires global participation and actions.
“Lawsuits of this kind; filed by trial attorneys against an industry that provides products we all rely upon to power the economy and enable our domestic life, simply do not do that.”
For its part, Shell shared its belief that the issue of global warming should be addressed by government policy and cultural change and not by the courts.
This is not the first time a city has filed cases related to global warming versus fossil fuel companies. In 2017 the cities of San Francisco and Oakland filed separate law suits against these same oil companies for contributing to global warming.