From the Field

Climate battle heats up with US lawsuits

NEW YORK, January 11, 2018 – New York City has filed a lawsuit against BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, demanding compensation for their alleged climate change contributions, international media reported on Wednesday.

“To deal with what the future will inevitably bring, the City must build sea walls, levees, dunes, and other coastal armament, and elevate and harden a vast array of City-owned structures, properties, and parks along its coastline,” the lawsuit, cited by the Washington Post, says. “The costs of these largely unfunded projects run to many billions of dollars and far exceed the City’s resources.”


The litigation comes shortly after San Francisco, Oakland and other West Coast municipalities filed similar suits against ExxonMobil. On Monday, the super-major threatened to counter-sue for “abuse of government power,” noting that the municipalities have claimed in bond sales that the dangers of climate change are unpredictable, CNN reported.

Nevertheless, last week the administration of US President Donald Trump proposed making available to drilling nearly all US offshore waters, or 90% of the outer continental shelf.

“Looking purely at areas that are potentially going to come out of restriction, we are talking about [making available] something closer to 65 billion boe [of resources],” said Sonia Passos of consultancy Rystad Energy, cited by Reuters.

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