BlackRock Joins Climate Action 100+

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BlackRock membership follows months of criticism over climate change

Climate Action 100+, an investor network that is pushing for disclosures into carbon emissions, has inked BlackRock to its roster. The three-year-old investor group is pushing for commitments to reduce fossil fuel-related emissions. The world’s largest asset manager joins firms like CalPERS, Allianz, and UBS Asset Management.

This is a radical shift for BlackRock given its conflicted past with the climate-related investment group. BlackRock has voted against proposals pushed by Climate Action 100+. The asset manager also has no obligation to join the group in future shareholder votes.

That said, the action group has been very influential in its short time. It has won concessions from large energy firms like Equinor, Shell, and BP.

What Climate Action 100+ Means for BlackRock

BlackRock has faced pressure from groups like Extinction Rebellion over the last year. The firm has faced criticism from climate advocates and investors. Last month, TCI manager Christopher Hohn called BlackRock firm “full of greenwash.” Non-profit Ceres ranked BlackRock No. 43 out of 48 on its backing of shareholder climate-related proposals.

Meanwhile, multiple managers are looking to reduce their exposure to alternative asset managers that aren’t focused on stewardship. Last year, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund cut a passive investment set for BlackRock. Its CIP said that “the main battlefield among our passive managers is going to be in the stewardship area”.

BlackRock’s membership to this group also coincides with a new activist campaign pushing for banks to stop financing fossil fuel projects. The Stop the Money Pipeline campaign launched Friday under the direction of environmental groups like the Sierra Club and 350.org.

Related: Purpose Investments Goes All-In on ESG Principles

 

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