New York City Sues Oil Companies in Climate Change Lawsuit -- 2nd Update

By Corinne RameyFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

New York City filed a lawsuit against five major oil companies, asking for billions of dollars to protect the city from climate change.

"In this litigation, 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," said the complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Continue Reading Below

The complaint said that "the very climate disruption and injuries that Defendants' scientists and consultants warned them about decades ago have now arrived."

The city filed the suit against oil companies BP PLC, Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

A Shell spokesman said 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 other four companies didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

San Francisco and Oakland filed similar suits in September against the same five companies.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer on Wednesday also pushed the city's five major pension funds to begin studying ways to divest from fossil fuel investments, saying the city should take a more active role in fighting climate change.

That kind of investment decision requires approval from the trustees of the city's pension funds. Officials for Messrs. de Blasio and Stringer, both Democrats, plan to present a proposal calling on the funds to take the measures on Thursday. Some funds may choose to accept the proposals while others may not.

Write to Corinne Ramey at Corinne.Ramey@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 10, 2018 13:31 ET (18:31 GMT)