Greenpeace USA Supporters Deliver A Message To L.A. Mayor Garcetti: Sue the Fossil Fuel Industry

by Naomi Ages

February 1, 2018

Today activists with Greenpeace hand delivered over 500 petitions from Los Angeles area Greenpeace supporters to the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti. They asked him to join the 9 other cities that are suing the fossil fuel industry for climate costs. This is the story of how we got here.

Activists with Greenpeace hand-delivered over 500 petitions from Los Angeles area Greenpeace supporters to the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti. They are asking him to join the 9 other cities that are suing the fossil fuel industry for climate costs. © Justin D'Angona/Greenpeace

In January, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio publicly committed to divesting the city’s nearly $5 billion in pension funds from fossil fuels. Mayor De Blasio didn’t stop there – he announced that New York City had filed against five fossil fuel companies: ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Conoco Phillips. The lawsuit’s intention is to hold corporate polluters accountable for driving catastrophic climate change, and ensure the fossil fuel industry pays its share of the billions of dollars of record-breaking climate damages, now and in the future.

New York City is not the first or only city to file a lawsuit; this is a growing movement. In California alone, San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Santa Cruz, Marin County, San Mateo County and Imperial Beach have all filed similar lawsuits.

We jumped into action immediately after the New York City announcement, helping Los Angeles-based supporters demand that their leaders take bold action on climate as well. Mayor Garcetti is a co-founder of the Climate Mayors, a leader in C40 (a network of megacities working on climate solutions), and part of the alliance of cities and states determined to fulfill the United States’ Paris Agreement commitments. With even more extreme droughts and wildfires, mudslides, and sea level rise, climate change is one of California’s most pressing issues. In fact, 2017 was the most expensive year on record for climate-change fueled extreme weather. So as a climate leader, Mayor Garcetti should be pursuing all possible avenues to protect the lives and livelihoods of L.A. residents – including divestment and litigation.

Two L.A. City Council members agree, and they have called for the city to explore action against fossil fuel companies. With the momentum of this resolution, it took just two weeks for more than 500 L.A. area Greenpeace supporters to sign the petition.

Once the petition hit 500 supporters, we knew they could do more. So last week we asked L.A. supporters to call the mayor’s office, asking him to file a lawsuit against the fossil fuel industry for climate resilience costs. Within two days, they made over 95 calls.

Activist Justin D’Angona personally hands over the 500+ petitions to the L.A. Mayor’s office. © Justin D’Angona/Greenpeace

That brings us to today. To help drive home the wave of rapid support from L.A. supporters, activists hand-delivered the more than 500 petitions to Mayor Garcetti’s office.

The pressure doesn’t stop here: L.A. is just the first of many cities Greenpeace plans to encourage to demand accountability from the fossil fuel industry. Let us know if you want your city to be next by emailing Dan Cannon at


Naomi Ages

By Naomi Ages

Naomi Ages is the Climate Liability Project Lead at Greenpeace USA. She focuses on establishing legal, political, and financial accountability for climate change, and achieving justice for climate-impacted and vulnerable communities.

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