Quantcast

Empire State Building Shines Green After NYC's Decision to Take on Fossil Fuel Industry

Business
NYC Mayor's Office / Twitter

New York City's iconic Empire State Building glowed green Wednesday night following two "watershed" announcements—that the city would seek to divest its pension funds from fossil fuel investments, and that it filed suit against five oil giants for contributing to climate change.

"The Empire State Building is shining green tonight because it's time to put our planet first. #DivestNY," Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Wednesday.


350.org co-founder Bill McKibben, a major campaigner in the global divestment movement, remarked in a tweet about the green lighting, "Just this once I think it's worth the carbon!"

The Belgium-based European Green Party also chimed in and advocated for European leaders to follow the Big Apple's footsteps.

"Let's join #DivestNY and #DivestEurope for a Green and sustainable future for us and generations to come," the party said on social media.

The divestment movement has grown in the U.S. and around the world. In November, Norway proposed to sell off all of its shares (about $35 billion) in oil and natural gas holdings.

Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer said they intend to divest New York City's $5 billion in securities of over 190 fossil fuel companies.

New York's lawsuit, filed in federal court, names BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell as defendants. The city seeks billions of dollars in damages and alleges the fossil fuel industry knew for decades that burning fuels drives global warming.

Environmentalists cheered the city's historic announcement.

"Today was an incredible day," author and investigative journalist Naomi Klein tweeted. "Hearing the mayor of the biggest city in the richest country on earth announce a lawsuit against 5 oil majors for climate damages AND fossil fuel divestment? Wow. We needed this. We will build on it."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


mevans / E+ / Getty Images

The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef issued an unprecedented statement that broke ranks with Australia's conservative government and called for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less

A powerful earthquake struck near Athens, Greece and shook the capital city for 15 seconds on Friday, causing people to run into the streets to escape the threat of falling buildings, NBC News reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
U.S. government scientists concluded in a new report that last month was the hottest June on record. Angelo Juan Ramos / Flickr

By Jessica Corbett

As meteorologists warned Thursday that temperatures above 100°F are expected to impact two-thirds of the country this weekend, U.S. government scientists revealed that last month was the hottest June ever recorded — bolstering calls for radical global action on the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less
Rod Waddington / CC BY-SA 2.0

By John R. Platt

For years now conservationists have warned that many of Madagascar's iconic lemur species face the risk of extinction due to rampant deforestation, the illegal pet trade and the emerging market for the primates' meat.

Yes, people eat lemurs, and the reasons they do aren't exactly what we might expect.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pixnio

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Many types of flour are commonly available on the shelves of your local supermarket.

Read More Show Less
A visitor views a digital representation of the human genome at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Mario Tama / Getty Images

Genetics are significantly more responsible for driving autism spectrum disorders than maternal factors or environmental factors such as vaccines and chemicals, according to a massive new study involving more than 2 million people from five different countries.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Emilie Karrick Surrusco

Across the globe, extreme weather is becoming the new normal.

Read More Show Less