New York sues fossil fuel majors, plans divestment from pension funds

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City on Wednesday filed a multibillion dollar lawsuit against five top fossil fuel companies, citing their “contributions to global warming,” as it unveiled a plan to cut fossil fuel investments from its $189 billion public pension funds over the next five years.

The companies are BP Plc, Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

New York’s goal of eliminating about $5 billion in securities of nearly 200 oil companies, would be among the biggest public pension divestments from fossil fuels to date, the city said in a statement.

“Safeguarding the retirement of our city’s police officers, teachers, firefighters and city workers is our top priority, and we believe that their financial future is linked to the sustainability of the planet,” city Comptroller Scott Stringer said in the statement.

“Our announcement sends a message to the world that a brighter economy rests on being green,” said Stringer, a trustee of New York’s five pension funds.

Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Daniel Bases and Richard Chang