NEW YORK (PIX11) — A New York City official is calling on the Mets to end its partnership with Citi because the company bankrolls some of the world’s largest climate polluters, including ExxonMobil and BP.
City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, climate activists, and Mets fans want the team to change the name of the ballpark due to the bank’s fossil fuel investments, officials said. Citi, which has pumped about $285 billion into the fossil fuel industry from 2016 to 2021, has the naming rights to the Mets stadium in Queens until 2028, according to Williams’ office.
The group is also starting a petition urging team owner Steve Cohen to reconsider the partnership with the company. The Mets’ 20-year deal with the bank is worth about $400 million, according to the New York Post.
Citibank is the biggest coal investor outside of China and has funded fossil fuel projects in the Amazon, according to Williams’ office. The company, however, said these are corporate loans, which is different than funding projects, according to a Citi spokesperson.
In a statement, the company acknowledged the importance of transitioning to low-carbon energy while supporting its fossil fuel clients to “decarbonize their business.” In 2021, the bank committed to reducing emissions in its energy, power, auto, thermal coal, steel, and commercial real estate sectors, the spokesperson said.
“Our approach reflects the need to transition while also continuing to meet global energy needs,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing the strong relationship we have with the Mets and Citi Field.”
The Mets could not immediately be reached on Tuesday.