New York City Announces Plan To Divest From Fossil Fuels

DeBlasio Hot Dog

In reaction to pressure from climate activists, the Mayor announced January 10 that the city will divest $5 billion from fossil-fuel-reserve owners due to what he feels is the cause of climate change. It marks his strongest action yet to address global warming and its associated sea-level rise, which devastated the city with massive flooding during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The city is seeking an undisclosed amount, reported to be in the billions of dollars, for protection from the consequences of climate change.

"Safeguarding the retirement of our city's police officers, teachers, firefighters and city workers is our top priority, and we believe that their financial future is linked to the sustainability of the planet", Comptroller Scott Stringer said in the statement.

The city has recently filed a lawsuit against Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, and the Royal Dutch Shell.

"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 NY safer and more resilient", de Blasio said in a statement.

New York City follows cities and counties in and that have either filed or announced pending climate impact litigation. Filing a lawsuit against oil and gas companies is the solution and the answer to counter the existential threat of fracking. NY state had previously subpoenaed (request for evidence by court order) documents from Exxon, in 2016, in a bid to uncover whether the oil company misled investors over the risks of climate change. The New Yorkers' pension funds are now worth $189 billion. But, even if there was, blaming this on the oil companies alone is disingenuous. "Deliberately hurting pension holders, like the fine men and women who keep our city safe, is a disgraceful way to score cheap political points".

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New York's goal of eliminating about $5 billion in securities of almost 200 oil companies would be among the biggest public pension divestments from fossil fuels to date, the city said in a statement.

But it's not just NY taking on the oil industry.

In late November, Letitia James, New York City's public advocate, held a first-of-its-kind public hearing on climate change.

His position as Mayor is to run the city and not to tour the country promoting his progressive political agenda. And it's time to do something different in New York City, isn't it?

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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