Uncharacteristically, Blackrock Released Its Votes At Shell, Bp, Exxon, Chevron, And Total Today -- Up To Two Weeks After Some Votes Took Place
Today, BlackRock stepped outside its pattern by releasing multiple bulletins on proxy votes it made earlier in the season. It made public its votes at BP (May 12th), Shell (May 18th), ExxonMobil (May 26th), Chevron (May 26th), Total (May 28th). Collectively the voting bulletins reveal an improved but mixed record for BlackRock’s climate votes this season.
Of the votes BlackRock’s Big Problem has been watching most closely, BlackRock voted:
- Well at BP by voting in favor of the shareholder resolution from Follow This to set and publish targets that are consistent with the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement.
- Badly at Shell by backing a weak management climate plan and voting against the shareholder resolution pushing for real climate accountability.
- Halfway at Exxon by bucking management and voting in favor of three new board members, but also voting in favor of Woods and Frazier, the CEO and Director ultimately responsible for Exxon’s climate record.
Total and Chevron were also important climate votes this season being watched by many. BlackRock voted for a strong climate resolution to reduce scope 3 emissions at Chevron, but failed at Total by backing its management’s weak climate plan.
This voting pattern suggests an improvement from past years – a testament to the climate movement’s success in pressuring investors to act – but still lacks the bold and visionary action needed from BlackRock.
In response to the Exxon board shake-up, BlackRock’s Big Problem released the following statements:
“Today, out of character, BlackRock released a series of its recent votes on Big Oil. The ongoing calls from climate activists, elected officials, and frontline leaders for increased voting transparency must be working,” said Roberta Giordano, Finance Campaigner with the BlackRock’s Big Problem network. “BlackRock made some progress exercising its shareholder power for climate action, but its votes this season fall far short of the visionary leadership needed to tackle the worsening climate crisis. BlackRock dropped the ball at Shell, Barclays, Wells Fargo, and Total, only got half way there at Exxon, and still hasn’t released its votes at Duke.”
“It is time for BlackRock to fully commit to taking responsibility for its role in enabling the climate crisis and stop picking and choosing votes at Big Oil based on minor details. It must start holding all fossil fuel boards accountable and voting in favor of real climate resolutions across the board,” said Mary Cerulli, Co-Founder at Climate Finance Action.
“This year’s AGM season shows: BlackRock still has a big problem. It is the world’s leading investor in destructive industries and missed the opportunity to fully use its shareholder power to push big polluters into transitioning,” said Katrin Ganswindt, Finance Campaigner at Urgewald.
BlackRock’s Big Problem is a global network of NGOs, social movements, grassroots groups, and financial advocates that are pressuring asset managers like BlackRock to rapidly align their business practices with a climate-safe world.
Our network includes some of the most effective corporate campaigning groups in the US, UK, Europe, and around the world. We know that only by increasing pressure on customers, employees, peer companies, and in the media will these fossil fuel backers take the bold and visionary steps necessary to save humanity from the climate emergency.