Fink's annual letter, released a day after the much better hoax letter, fails to mention climate. BlackRock remains largest investor in climate destruction
Today, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink published his annual letter to CEOs. In this year’s letter, he describes an “increasingly fragile” global landscape and a need for corporations to be leaders and “address pressing social and economic issues.” Fink failed to mention climate change at all in the letter, despite the urgent need to take action on this issue. The absence of climate in today’s letter comes in stark contrast to a letter released yesterday as a hoax, which led with bold climate action.
Despite the principles Fink has laid out in this and previous years’ letters, BlackRock continues to be the world’s largest investor in the industries that are driving the climate crisis. BlackRock is the largest investor in new coal plant development worldwide, one of the largest investors in oil and gas companies, and the largest US investor in rainforest destruction.
Not only has BlackRock refused to divest from destructive industries, it has also failed to use its influence for good. BlackRock consistently votes against shareholder climate proposals and has a worse track record than other large global asset managers. As 50/50 Climate Project found in an analysis of 2018 shareholder votes, BlackRock supported only 23 percent percent of proposals related to addressing climate change. BlackRock also continues to vote for the reappointment of nearly all directors at companies, even when they fail to address climate risk.
“Every year, Larry Fink seeks to earn public goodwill with lofty statements about social responsibility, but we’re facing an urgent climate crisis that demands more than good intentions and empty promises,” said Sierra Club Campaign Representative Ben Cushing.“If Fink is serious about his climate legacy, it’s time to put his money where his mouth is and take real action to use BlackRock’s enormous influence for good, rather than continuing to support climate destruction.”
“Indigenous peoples in the Amazon and around the world are struggling to defend ancestral territories and our global climate; Larry Fink can’t be Wall Street’s conscience while his company works at cross-purposes,” said Amazon Watch spokesperson Moira Birss.“Climate leaders don’t invest in companies that violate human rights, destroy tropical forests, and cause catastrophic climate change.”
“No amount of empty rhetoric from Larry Fink can make up for the fact that BlackRock is the single largest enabler of climate destruction on the planet,” said Lukas Ross, Senior Policy Analyst at Friends of the Earth. “Failing to mention the words ‘climate change’ in his letter reveals just how hollow Fink’s commitment to corporate responsibility really is. If BlackRock is really as concerned for the environment as they claim to be, they must immediately transition away from fossil fuels and deforestation.”
“Years of data show the fossil fuel industry is underperforming and volatile,” said Clara Vondrich, Director of Divest Invest. “We are at an inflection point in the energy transition and these stocks will never fully recover their value. BlackRock is bleeding money for its investors by not divesting from fossil fuels.”