Skip to Content
Climate change

NYC to Big Oil: It’s Time to Pay for Climate Change

January 11, 2018

New York City is suing five of the world's biggest oil firms in a bid to cover expensive preparations for rising sea levels and extreme weather. BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Shell are all being taken to court by the city, reports the Guardian.

The aim: Court documents explain that NYC wants to "shift the costs of protecting the city ... back on to the companies that have done nearly all they could to create this existential threat." NYC stands to be hit hard by climate change, being home to masses of expensive but low-lying real estate.

Its case: The city will argue that fossil-fuel producers are responsible for the majority of greenhouse-gas emissions since the Industrial Revolution, and that they knew about—but downplayed—the impact they would have on the climate.

The kicker: NYC will also pull $5 billion of pension fund investment from fossil-fuel firms.

Deep Dive

Climate change

The hottest new climate technology is bricks

Heat batteries could help cut emissions by providing new routes to use solar and wind power.

This abundant material could unlock cheaper batteries for EVs

Sodium-based batteries could start hitting the market this year, if companies follow through on their plans.

The Green Future Index 2023

The Green Future Index 2023 is the third edition of the comparative ranking of 76 nations and territories on their ability to develop a sustainable, low-carbon future.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.