This is what Larry Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock, a high-grossing investment company, stated in his annual letter to the CEO’s of some of the largest companies in the world. With the sending of this letter came a plan. No longer would BlackRock overlook the legitimacy of the threat of climate change. And no longer would it fund companies with poor environmental practices. To start, BlackRock plans to be divested from all corporations creating over 25% revenue from coal by mid-2020, which in itself would remove dozens of firms from their investment.
Fink has found that there is money to be made in sustainable investment and that “we are on the verge of a fundamental reshaping of finance,” as a result. This is what pushed Fink to be one of the first large-scale investors to jump onto the climate-accountability bandwagon.
Although Corporate Cleanup is disheartened that money, yet again, has taken precedence over the well-being of the youth, we welcome BlackRock’s action with relief.
Allow us to break down what this advancement means for corporations, for the climate crisis, and for BlackRock’s place in Divest From The Destroyers.
BlackRock is found among the many high-grossing corporations on the Fortune 500 list, and also claims the title as the world’s largest asset manager. For this reason, it is a hugely influential investment company and corporation in general. BlackRock’s recently announced commitment to invest more responsibly in terms of the climate crisis will undoubtedly leave neighboring, and lower-grossing companies to follow suit in the desire for capital, seeing as the media now has reason to believe that making proactive investments is economical.
This is absolutely what we want. As more and more investors cut funding to companies that cause environmental harm, those companies will be driven to make reforms in their practices or face a reduction in revenue, possibly even leading to bankruptcy. In this way, the planet will receive justice.
Ideally, the impact of BlackRock’s progressive action will also legitimize the severity of climate issues for the individuals and companies who are apathetic about climate change as an issue, as well as for those who don’t agree that climate change is a valid issue at all. The more people who begin to prioritize climate responsibility, the better.
As for how Corporate Cleanup would like to recognize BlackRock’s advancement with regards to Divest From The Destroyers, we feel it is necessary to keep a close eye on BlackRock and how they to invest their money for the next few months, ensuring that they are truly making decisions that will better the climate crisis, as opposed to making such a statement for media attention. At this point in time, there is little evidence to support that BlackRock will divest from Exxon, which is our current target for which we are advocating divestment. For this reason, BlackRock will remain on the Divest From The Destroyers regimen until it is evident that their efforts are legitimate and effective. If not, we will continue to push for reforms in BlackRock’s investment strategy.
BlackRock has taken a step in the right direction, and we must ensure that BlackRock, as well as other companies, continue down this path.
We must all continue to push for corporate accountability.