BlackRock Will Do Little To Change Climate Stance Despite Republican Pushback

Jack McEvoy 

BlackRock will make no major changes to the way it influences companies’ environmental policies, even as Republican officials and lawmakers continue to challenge the massive asset manager over its climate stance, Reuters reported Monday.

BlackRock, which manages $8 trillion in assets, said it will not change major elements of its environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) investing and shareholder voting policies in its latest annual stewardship update, accordingto Reuters. However, Republican State treasurers, attorneys general and lawmakers have accused the company of failing to fulfill its fiduciary duty to its shareholders by allegedly boycotting fossil fuel companies to help meet international climate goals.

“As a result, we do not anticipate material changes in our voting, and much of our engagement with companies will be continuing the dialogue on material risks and opportunities that we had in 2022,” the company said, according to Reuters.

Texas state senators pressed BlackRock on its climate commitments, asking to what extent the company used its financial influence to pressure companies to slash greenhouse gas emissions during a hearing held on Dec. 15, Barron’s reported. North Carolina State Treasurer Dal Folwell called on BlackRock CEO Larry Fink to resign after accusing him of using BlackRock’s assets to push businesses to cut back on fossil fuel investments and promote its political agenda, according to Dec. 9 letter sent to the company’s board.

BlackRock will push companies to disclose their carbon emissions as well as environmental impacts, and release sustainability reports in advance of annual meetings to give investors more time to review companies’ climate policies, Reuters reported.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced that the state would pull $2 billion away from BlackRock and alleged that BlackRock used its funds to support the firm’s “social-engineering project” rather than make money for its clients. BlackRock aims to push the world to produce “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050 and believes that change presents a financial risk for investors, meaning that a green energy transition is in the interests of the planet and investors alike.

BlackRock did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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