Global voices join BlackRock pile on - BlackRock's Big Problem


  • Global voices join BlackRock pile on

    High profile statements from Al Gore, Representative Rashid Tlaib, Robert Reich, and even a Catholic nuns investor group all called out BlackRock and Larry Fink this week.

    Picture of Al Gore with quotation

    You might the above statement about asset managers must have come from one of our campaign partners, right? Nope. The narrative that BlackRock is both a) a major player in making the climate crisis worse, and b) could do something about it without much struggle is spreading all over.

    Former Vice President and co-founder of Generation Investment Management Al Gore sat down with the Financial Times’ “Moral Money” in Madrid last week to talk about how investors can use their power to stop climate change.

    Gore unloaded directly and intelligently at passive investment leaders BlackRock and Vanguard, who own more fossil fuels than anyone else, have a horrible voting accountability record, and refuse to sign onto climate related investor pacts.

    “They are trying, they are not succeeding yet. Patience is wearing thin in many quarters.”
    — Al Gore

    Today U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib, part of “the squad” of progressive new House members, also criticized Larry Fink for his “corporate greed”. The letter she wrote and sent to Fink was co-signed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes and a dozen other congresspeople. It was covered in Vice.

    It shows the world is tiring of billionaires who say they care about fixing climate change and then profit from investments that make the emergency worse.

    [Fink] travels the world saying businesses should have social purpose, play a positive role in society, and now his actions are responsible for the fires in the Amazon. He’s looking the other way, he’s deciding to do nothing about that at all.”
    — Representative Rashida Tlaib

    Adding to the cacophony, former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich also used Fink as a prime example of the hypocrisy of corporate CEO’s whose words about social responsibility are worlds away from their action.

    Tweeting to his 750,000+ followers, Reich said:

    Screen shot of tweet from Robert Reich

    And showing that it’s not all progressive politicians joining the anti-Fink party, an investment group representing 9,000 Catholic Nuns made probably our favourite headline of the week:

    Screenshot of news article about nuns taking on BlackRock over the climate emergency

    The “Sisters of Mercy” filed a resolution, co-signed with other religious groups, demanding further action on climate from the world’s biggest investor. It was covered in FT and in the Guardian, both of which used photos from recent actions outside BlackRock’s London offices.

    “There is increasing public scrutiny of the proxy voting record on climate-related shareholder resolutions by major investment firms such as BlackRock. In light of the dismal 2019 votes on climate, investors have filed shareholder resolutions urging a review by management.”
    — Timothy Smith, resolution co-signatory

    From the halls of Congress to the Madrid climate talks, more and more people are joining the chorus demanding action from BlackRock to fix their giant climate problem.