Port Moody becomes seventh BC local government to vote to sue big oil

Port Moody, BC – Port Moody City Council released a public statement yesterday announcing its commitment to work with other BC local governments to bring a class action lawsuit against global fossil fuel companies to recover a fair share of the communities’ climate costs. Port Moody is now the seventh BC municipality that has pledged support for suing Big Oil, and the second in the Lower Mainland after Burnaby announced its support last week.

West Coast Environmental Law, Laudato Si’ Circle Port Moody, Tri-Cities Force of Nature Alliance and other members of the Sue Big Oil campaign applaud Port Moody Council for its climate leadership and its efforts to recover some of the millions of dollars of harm that the fossil fuel industry is causing the city.

“Local residents worried about mounting climate change costs are grateful to Port Moody Council for taking this forward-looking step to protect our community,” said Mark Norbury, leader of the Sue Big Oil Port Moody team. “Here in Port Moody, we’ve seen our beloved boardwalk damaged, and we face increasing costs associated with heat waves, floods, storms, landslides, and forest fires. Adapting to climate change will cost our city millions of dollars that we cannot afford. It makes sense to try to recoup a fair share of these costs from major polluters.”

“Port Moody, Burnaby and other BC communities are facing massive costs as a direct result of fossil fuel pollution and climate change,” said Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law, who co-presented to Port Moody Council in February. “A class action lawsuit by local governments against the world’s largest fossil fuel companies is a fiscally responsible option, since these companies knew as far back as the 1950s and 60s that their products would cause climate change. They fought tooth and nail to prevent the world from shifting away from fossil fuels so that they could make trillions of dollars in profits. It’s time they paid their fair share for the damage they’ve caused.”

“We are grateful to all the members of Port Moody City Council for seeking justice in a lawsuit against Big Oil. The fossil fuel industry has used its vast resources to convince us that they are our only energy option, that they have the right answers, and that they can expect taxpayers to cover the damages. This lawsuit is a big step towards freedom from this abusive relationship,” said Benjamin Perry of Force of Nature Alliance (Tri-Cities).

“With climate disasters now pummelling BC communities every year, it is exciting to see momentum building to make polluters pay,” said Fiona Koza, Climate Accountability Strategist at West Coast Environmental Law. “In the past two weeks alone, two Lower Mainland municipalities have committed to suing Big Oil for a fair share of climate costs, and we can’t wait to see which BC municipalities will join next. Over 11,000 British Columbians have signed a Declaration calling for BC local governments to work together to Sue Big Oil.”

Port Moody joins Burnaby, Squamish, Gibsons, View Royal, Slocan and Qualicum Beach in committing to work together to bring a class action lawsuit against global fossil fuel companies for the costs of climate change and in pledging $1 per resident towards the case. Burnaby, in particular, has challenged other larger municipalities, such as Port Moody’s Tri-Cities neighbour, Coquitlam, to support the proposed lawsuit. The Sue Big Oil campaign is endorsed by 40 organizations in BC and has volunteer action teams in communities throughout the province that are asking their local governments to join the action.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Norbury | Sue Big Oil (Port Moody)

Benjamin Perry | Force of Nature Alliance (Tri-Cities)

Fiona Koza | Climate Accountability Strategist, West Coast Environmental Law
604-684-7378, ext. 236, fkoza@wcel.org

Andrew Gage | Staff Lawyer, West Coast Environmental Law
604-601-2506, agage@wcel.org