The lawsuit links global warming to extreme temperatures, severe snowfall, risen sea levels, and more flooding across the state. The Guardian reports that Mayor Bill de Blasio has made fighting climate change a priority in his administration as a way to protect the metropolis.
New York City is the latest - and largest - USA city to sue five big oil companies for billions in damages from the impacts of climate change, such as rising seas and extreme weather.
The biggest city in the USA sued BP Plc, Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp., and Royal Dutch Shell Plc claiming they're the world's largest industrial contributors to climate change.
Speaking along with others in New York City, de Blasio referred to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, a deadly storm that hit the city in 2012. "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".
Curtis Smith, a Shell spokesman, that 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".
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo previously has said he planned to halt future fossil fuel investments in the state's public employee pension fund.
The city announced the lawsuit against the oil companies on Wednesday 10 January. It is unfortunate that the people who will need the pension monies will be deprived of potential wealth because of political posturing. They're claiming this move is "among the most significant divestment efforts in the world to date".
He also says the city will divest the US$5bn that its pension funds now hold in fossil fuel companies.
"It's time to do something different in New York City, isn't it?" he said.
Both theories have been used to attack polluters, though not on the scale of global climate change.
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In 2016, a coalition of attorneys general - called and led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman - formed to combat the climate crisis.
His position as Mayor is to run the city and not to tour the country promoting his progressive political agenda.
New York City's effort to hold industry accountable for the impacts of climate change was applauded by numerous climate advocacy groups.
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