“Real accountability will mean moving from pledges on paper to taking rapid actions to reduce global emissions.”
After the announcement that BlackRock and Vanguard have signed onto the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, Casey Harrell, Senior Strategist with the Sunrise Project and key partner in the BlackRock’s Big Problem Network, said:
“It is an important milestone that BlackRock and Vanguard have been moved to commit to reach net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner across all assets under management, but pledges and commitments are not the end goal. Until there is a corresponding escalation of action and ambition, these pledges are more valuable as marketing materials for ESG funds than they are to people on the front lines of climate change. It is now crucial that BlackRock and Vanguard build on this commitment to accelerate near-term action.
“This is the first time Vanguard has acknowledged the urgency of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and taken public account for how its investments and practices are crucial for meeting this goal. Nonetheless, real accountability for Vanguard as well as BlackRock means moving from pledges on paper to taking swift actions to cut global emissions in half this decade. That must include moving away from industries that are incompatible with a 1.5°C pathway, including those that depend on expanding fossil fuels and deforestation. It also means not relying on net zero pledges that are based on untested, unrealistic, and potentially counterproductive schemes and technologies, like carbon capture and offsets, which are often associated with serious violations of human rights and Indigenous sovereignty.”
BlackRock’s Big Problem and our networks will be monitoring both Vanguard and BlackRock closely this shareholder season to see if they will turn their pledges and promises into action. For more on today’s announcement, read the press statement and the commitment from the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative.