NYC's Unprecedented Climate Action: Divest Pension Funds from Oil Companies

by Susie Olson January 13, 2018, 3:34
NYC's Unprecedented Climate Action: Divest Pension Funds from Oil Companies

On Wednesday, New York City announced that it would sue the five oil majors-ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell and BP-over their role in fueling climate change.

The lawsuit claims that the city is "spending billions of dollars" to protect coastlines from storm surges and rising sea levels, constructing barriers like sea walls, levees, and dunes around the island.

"We're going after those who have profited - and what a terrible, disgusting way to profit - in a way that's put so many people's lives in danger".

New York City's lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York federal court, makes the city by far the largest entity yet to sue oil and gas companies for climate damages.

Curtis Smith, a spokesman for Shell, said climate-change policies "should be addressed through sound government policy and cultural change to drive low-carbon choices", and not by the courts.

Going on: "When Superstorm Sandy swooped down on northern New Jersey and New York City in October 2012, it caused more than $71 billion in economic damage, according to the National Hurricane Center".

"A collection of special interests and opportunistic politicians are abusing law enforcement authority and legal process to impose their viewpoint on climate change", ExxonMobil's lawsuit said.

City officials have set a goal of divesting New York's $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five years in what they say would be "among the most significant divestment efforts in the world to date". "Similar to recent lawsuits in California, this headline-seeking stunt is an absurd attempt to politicize natural disasters, rather than a good-faith effort at securing meaningful change". Works carried out using this initial funding will be the "first step" in preparing the city for climate change, but more will be needed. San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Oakland have done the same.

CBS appoints John Dickerson as Rose's replacement
Dickerson joined CBS in 2009 as an analyst and contributor and was tapped to serve as the network's political director in 2011. Dickerson also joins veteran broadcaster Christiane Amanpour in the elusive Charlie Rose replacement club.

Commenting on the action, Exxon Mobil said in a statement: "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a global issue and requires global participation and actions".

Once trustees from each of New York City's five pension funds have been given an analysis of the proposed divestment, and the risk and return characteristics of the portfolio have been addressed by the Office of the City Comptroller's Bureau of Asset Management (BAM), they will seek legal opinion regarding whether the divestment would comply with fiduciary duties to beneficiaries.

"I'm very proud to say New York City was in the forefront ending investments in South Africa during the apartheid regime, ending investments in private prisons, ending investments in the coal industry".

In addition to the lawsuit, New York City also announced on Wednesday its intention to divest some $5 billion in its pension funds from oil and gas companies.

Many New Yorkers hope it's only the beginning. The more suits that get filed, the more the market will have to factor in the possibility of fossil fuel companies having to pay out huge settlements in the near to medium term, much as the tobacco companies were forced to in past decades.

ACCF also finds three of the 10 worst performing NYCERS private equity funds this year were focused on supporting Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) ventures.

In his speech, Mayor de Blasio claimed the fossil fuel giants knew about the impact of climate change but put profits first.

The press office for New York's city hall did not respond to a phone call and email seeking comment.


TOP News

California US Rep. Darrell Issa to retire
Early in the 2018 election cycle, Democrats identified the Orange County-area Republican seats as top targets. Steve Stivers, chairman of the NRCC.

Eight Earthquakes Strike Iran-Iraq Border, Injuring 4
In Iraq, nine people were killed and 550 were injured, according to the United Nations. All the earthquakes struck at a depth of 10 kilometres, according to the USGS.

Google Assistant for DISH
Jumping to a completely different product category, Acer and Asus announced at CES that they are bringing Alexa to their laptops. But it doesn't behave like a traditional tablet: you don't interact with it by managing and installing apps.

Jennifer Lawrence Is A Deadly Russian Assassin In Red Sparrow's New Trailer
She takes out a man in the shower using a faucet! Based on a novel by Jason Matthews , " Red Sparrow " casts Ms. And a Russian saying, "If she is compromised, she will be eliminated".

Helfrich to be named Chicago Bears offensive coordinator
Nagy said he will call the plays and the offense will be his design, but Helfrich will obviously have plenty of influence. Bears now have hired former Oregon HC Mark Helfrich as their offensive coordinator, per source.

MLB Rumors: Astros To Land Gerrit Cole In Trade Despite Yankees' Interest
The Astros would hope that Cole bounces back to his form from 2013-2016 when he had a 3.23 ERA over 579 1/3 innings of work. Remember, the Yankees drafted Cole back in 2008 and were hot after him in December but the deal fell off.

Platelet, blood donors needed
Their shelf life is very short-only 5 days-while whole blood or red cell donations can last 42 days. Type B negative: The blood type that can be transfused to type B Rh-positive and negative patients.

Cam Newton Famous CTE Expert Calls BS ... That's a Concussion
Carolina coach Ron Rivera said Newton was told to stop on the field to give backup quarterback Derek Anderson time to warm up. Newton said after the game Sunday that "precautionary concussion protocol things" happened, but "it wasn't my head".

Mom, boyfriend sought in burning, beating death of 4-year-old girl
Police said the woman claimed she owned weapons that had been confiscated, including one that had the serial number filed off it. In 2006, Fields pleaded guilty to carrying an unauthorized concealed weapon and served a year of probation. "We didn't know.

Friday's First Warning Forecast: Below zero wind chill
A cold front will bring light snow showers by Monday evening through Tuesday morning, with not much accumulation expected for now. Environment Canada is advising people to check on older family, friends and neighbours, and to keep pets inside.