New York

State AG and the Big Apple take action

America’s largest city files lawsuit against climate polluters

Flanked with environmental justice advocates and Hurricane Sandy survivors, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio kicked off 2018 with an event announcing the city’s suit against the five biggest oil companies: BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell.

“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,” de Blasio said in a statement. “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.”

Update: NYC’s suit was dismissed in July 2018, but is now under appeal with a decision expected in early 2019. Read more about that appeal here.

Snapshot of Damages

New York, NY $20 billion

That's the price-tag on NYC's efforts to shore up coastal, water and sewer infrastructure in the face of climate change

New York, NY $19 billion

Sandy-related damage to New York City

New York $10 billion

That's how much, without adaptation, climate change could cost the state annually by 2050

AG Underwood takes Exxon to court

After more than three years of investigation into evidence that Exxon deceived investors on climate-related financial risks, former Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a lawsuit in Oct. 2018 alleging that the company did indeed engage in a “longstanding fraudulent scheme” to mislead shareholders. Underwood's successor, Attorney General Letitia James, will continue to pursue the case.

“Investors put their money and their trust in Exxon, which assured them of the long-term value of their shares, as the company claimed to be factoring the risk of increasing climate change regulation into its business decisions,” Underwood told The New York Times. “Yet as our investigation found, Exxon often did no such thing.” Underwood’s filing demands that the company return to its investors any profits gained through deceit.