ESG: ValueAct Salutes the BlackRock “Climate Change of Heart”

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ValueAct has a new ally on sustainability-related proxy votes

ValueAct founder Jeffrey Ubben expressed his excitement about BlackRock’s updated stance on climate change. Earlier this week, Black chief Larry Fink had sounded an alarm in a letter to CEOs.

Ubben is one of the biggest supporters of environmental factors in corporate governance.

ValueAct founder Jeffrey Ubben on BlackRock

In early 2018, Ubben launched the ValueAct Spring Fund that focused on the promotion of environmental and social goals at companies in which it invests. Ubben also told Reuters this week that BlackRock’s shift on climate change may help it reach its long-term goals.

“Now I can call three shareholders [in BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street], Ubben said, discussing his goals to cast proxy votes around sustainability.

Meanwhile, BlackRock faced years of criticism over its fossil fuel investment policies. Things got so intense that protestors started gluing themselves to BlackRock’s London office doors.

This week, Larry Fink took a more proactive stance on sustainable investing.

Fink sent an annual letter to CEOs and argued that sustainable investments that address climate change will provide better returns in the future. Fink wrote: “In the near future — and sooner than most anticipate — [climate change would cause] a significant reallocation of capital.”

Related: Hedge Funds: BlackRock To Back Up ESG Rhetoric With Action

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