May 17, 2020 Read More →

Activists fear BlackRock only paying lip service to climate change

Financial Times ($):

BlackRock has been accused of double standards after it refused to back landmark environmental resolutions at two big Australian oil companies just months after the world’s largest asset manager warned global warming represented a risk to markets unlike any previous crisis.

The $6.5tn fund manager’s voting record at annual meetings has been closely scrutinised following chief executive Larry Fink’s letter to companies in January, where he announced BlackRock would put sustainability at the heart of its investment process and argued climate change could lead to a “fundamental reshaping of finance”.

But campaigners argued the asset manager was paying lip service to tackling climate change after it voted against resolutions calling for Woodside Energy and Santos to set targets in line with the Paris agreement, which aims to limit global temperature rises, and to disclose their lobbying. 

Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a think-tank, said BlackRock’s new focus on sustainability was welcome, but this needed to be followed by greater action.

“BlackRock has to be called out on this and they will progressively get better, because investors increasingly want this,” he added. 

[Attracta Mooney]

More: BlackRock Accused of Climate Change Hypocrisy

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