BlackRock's latest paper tiger moment - BlackRock's Big Problem


  • BlackRock’s latest paper tiger moment

    We’ve rattled BlackRock’s cage once again!

    Last month, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink devoted his entire annual letter to climate, pledging to commit to a net zero portfolio by 2050 and demanding other companies do the same.

    This week, BlackRock released another statement—“Climate Risk and the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy”—with specifics on how it will enact Fink’s words.

    BlackRock’s words sound good. There are five pages of them, including “just” and “equitable” as well as “resilient” and “sustainable.” But, yet again, there is no mention of companies engaging in tar sands destruction, oil expansion, fracking, or deforestation.

    BlackRock says it “may” vote for climate-friendly shareholder proposals, and it “may” vote against company board directors. Based on the expectations laid out by BlackRock, we should see the company vote against directors at almost every fossil fuel company this shareholder season.

    “Without the actual threat of exclusion, this policy update remains yet another paper tiger.”

    – Katrin Ganswindt, Urgewald

    To make BlackRock’s words worth the paper they “may” be printed on, what if…

    • BlackRock strengthened its coal policy to remove the other 80% of the Global Coal Exit List from its actively managed funds?
    • BlackRock committed to use its upcoming meeting with the Association of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples as a first step towards creating a deforestation and human rights policy?*
    • BlackRock disclosed the sectors and companies it is prioritizing for compliance with its climate commitments?
    • BlackRock voted off the board of directors at ExxonMobil?

    In other words, actions speak volumes.

    If BlackRock truly means what it says, this shareholder season will, in Larry Fink’s own words, “reshape finance” and launch an epic year of climate progress.

    Opportunities for us to take action start soon. Stay tuned!

    For an analysis of BlackRock’s latest, read BlackRock sends mixed signals with latest climate memo.

    *Read the letter from the Association of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples to BlackRock here.