Rights - BlackRock's Big Problem

Visionary leadership protects people and the climate

BlackRock must adopt a policy that recognizes the rights of Indigenous peoples.

The policy must outline how BlackRock will address Indigenous rights across its business, and its expectations for how companies should engage and adhere to standards for human rights and the land rights of Indigenous peoples.

BlackRock could phase in this policy and apply it universally across all extractive sectors that threaten the rights of Indigenous peoples, local communities, and traditional landowners.

BlackRock is among the top shareholders in 25 of the world’s largest forest-risk companies. Portfolio companies must recognize the legal and customary rights of the communities who steward our global forests.  

Finance must invest in human rights

BlackRock joined the UN Global Compact in 2020, but has not backed up this public commitment with investment policies that protect Indigenous and human rights.

Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) rights are often violated by fossil fuel companies and the BlackRock-backed companies driving deforestation.

In June 2020,

29 financial institutions managing over $3.7 trillion in total assets told the Brazilian government that the recent surge in Amazon deforestation has led to “widespread uncertainty about the conditions for investing in or providing financial services to Brazil.”

Only Storebrand Asset Management – a Norwegian firm leading other financial institutions to prioritize climate change mitigation – has outlined a clear deforestation policy.

BlackRock does not have a sufficient policy on forests, land, and the human rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities. Guidance for asset managers to develop this policy is available here.

Why we need rights protection

People are suffering

Climate chaos threatens the ecosystems we all depend on. For too long, Indigenous peoples have been ignored and their rights demeaned by companies that profit from destruction of their traditional lands. BlackRock’s practices must address the non-negotiable rights of traditional landowners, local communities, and Indigenous peoples.

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.