BlackRock says it wants to do more for the climate

“I BELIEVE WE are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance,” wrote Larry Fink, the boss of BlackRock, the planet’s biggest fund manager, in an open letter on January 14th. His annual missives, addressed to clients and the bosses of companies in which BlackRock invests, are widely read. This year’s, which argues that climate change is a big investment risk that could cause market havoc sooner than most expect, was no exception.

The letter also said what BlackRock, which has $7.43trn in assets under management, plans to do. First, it will demand greater disclosure from all firms on their carbon emissions and climate risks. Because BlackRock has huge clout, this will make a difference. Second, it will double its offering of sustainable funds to 150. The aim is that BlackRock’s sustainable assets will rise from $90bn to $1trn within a decade. Finally, it has pledged to change how it runs its actively managed portfolios, which account for 27% of its total assets. It will dispose of public securities issued by any firm that makes over a quarter of its revenue from thermal coal—the type used to generate electricity.

The direct impact will be limited: the pledged coal divestments, for example, are less than 0.1% of BlackRock’s assets. The indirect impacts may be larger, as firms are prodded to improve...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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