Default Climate Funds - BlackRock's Big Problem

What visionary leadership looks like

BlackRock must offer fossil fuel- and deforestation-free funds as the default option for all clients and investors across its product offerings.

While BlackRock might not be able to completely eliminate fossil fuels from all funds – a client could demand to invest in coal, for example – it can make climate-friendly funds the standard across its entire business.

Leadership means taking bold, decisive action to stem the global climate crisis.

Climate funds must be the foundation

Asset managers have a fiduciary duty to mitigate the systemic risks of climate change. BlackRock’s portfolio has significant climate risk exposure – especially in its passively-managed funds.

In a BlackRock poll, 54% of global respondents said sustainable investing is fundamental to their investment processes and outcomes.

The vast majority of investors default to the core products their AM selects for them.

(AMs need to manage clients’ climate risk, rather than relying on clients to self-select into climate funds)

BlackRock influences around 1/4 of the global economy through investments and its portfolio management software.

Why we need default climate funds

Our future is burning

BlackRock is the world’s largest investor in fossil fuels. With an $8-trillion-dollar portfolio, it invests billions in coal, oil, and gas, including tar sands and Arctic oil. Yet, the truth is indisputable: to maintain a habitable planet we must cut global emissions in half within this decade. That means we can’t afford to keep pumping money into fossil fuels

Climate change is a complex issue that demands integrated action. This is just one of three core problems that BlackRock must address now.

Who we are

We are a global network of NGOs, social movements, grassroots activists, finance researchers, and shareholder advocacy organizations. We’ve come together to push asset managers like BlackRock to align their business practices with climate solutions, instead of continuing to fund climate destruction.

We applaud BlackRock’s stated commitment to sustainability.

But Larry Fink and the financial industry must recognize that small steps and talk are not enough. Our future depends on bold, decisive action. Asset managers have the power to make immediate changes – and the responsibility to implement these feasible solutions.