Today, BlackRock released CEO Larry Fink’s annual chairman letter, for the first time addressing shareholders, clients, CEOs, investee companies, and other stakeholders in one statement.
Partners within the BlackRock’s Big Problem network, a coalition of environmental, investor, and grassroots advocacy organizations, issued the following statements:
Moira Birss – Climate Finance Director, Amazon Watch:
“Fink has again recognized, as any clear-eyed observer would, that climate change risk is having a material impact in the world, citing rising insurance costs due to climate change numbers. However, Fink claims that BlackRock shouldn’t engineer outcomes related to climate change. This ignores the fact that maintaining the status quo is as much a choice as taking action. Continuing to steer client investments into the very causes of the climate crisis is engineering an outcome — further climate chaos and the financial crises that will ensue.”
Jessye Waxman – Senior Campaign Representative, Sierra Club:
“Climate change is the single biggest long-term threat to financial markets, with impacts already felt across the economy. Fiduciary duty is about prioritizing clients’ best interests, which requires responsible and proactive management of risk. BlackRock is leaning into offering clients choice, but deference to choice can’t be a shield for abdication of responsible risk management.”
Lucie Pinson – Executive Director, Reclaim Finance:
“Larry Fink says that he encourages people to invest with a long term perspective, but he insists that they must have a choice of investing in the fossil fuel polluters that pose a long-term risk. When he urges people to invest for their retirements but stands ready to invest their pensions into companies destroying their future, Fink has his self interest in mind, not the long term interest of his clients.
Mr. Fink cannot have his cake and eat it — if his business is serious about addressing climate risks, then BlackRock must take a stronger stance against investing in the development of new oil and gas projects, including the development of LNG. Even worse, by depicting gas as a bridging fuel that must be supported, Fink misrepresents the facts and fails to provide his clients with the information they need to identify their long term interests. As the IEA has made clear, there is no room in a 1.5°C scenario for LNG and we need to stop opening new fields in order to reduce gas production by 23% by 2030. Mr. Fink must tailor his investments accordingly.”
Jacey Bingler, Senior Communications Manager, The Sunrise Project
[email protected], +1 207 616 6730
About the BlackRock’s Big Problem campaign:
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. Find more information about our network here.