New report "Five Years Lost" shows how finance is blowing the Paris climate budget, with BlackRock pouring over $110B into the biggest fossil mega-projects.
On December 10th, just two days before the 5th anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, 18 NGOs released a new report titled “Five Years Lost – How Finance is Blowing the Paris Carbon Budget” exposing the role of financial institutions in funding 12 of the most devastating fossil fuel projects that are currently planned or under development globally.
Together, these 12 projects will blow 75% of the carbon budget we have if we’re going to limit global warming to 1.5℃. These 12 case studies also highlight the catastrophic impacts of fossil fuel expansion to public health and human rights, including indigenous rights.
Unsurprisingly, the report finds BlackRock to be the top investor in these projects globally, with bonds and shares worth $110 billion to the 133 companies driving the projects. Asset Manager Vanguard followed closely behind with $104 billion.
This data shows that despite the recent wave of pledges by Wall Street and global banks to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 – including BlackRock’s January announcement to put sustainability at the center of its investments – the finance industry continues to stand behind fossil fuels companies and provide the money pipeline for these carbon bomb projects to proceed.
With every day passing, the gap between rhetoric and action widens and the window of opportunity to change climate outcomes shrinks. We’re ending 2020 with yet another announcement by BlackRock of fresh commitments to strengthen its voting practices.
Tiny steps in the right direction are nice, but it is past time for BlackRock to go beyond the framework of the risks that climate change poses to its business. BlackRock must take responsibility for the impacts its portfolio has on the climate emergency and on the communities that bear the largest brunt of it.
It is time to shift capital away from fossil fuel industries that are driving us at the brink.