BlackRock’s bold new approach to climate must include deforestationWorld’s largest asset manager can’t face down climate without defunding forest destruction
WASHINGTON – BlackRock Inc. CEO Larry Fink today released his annual letter where he announced a series of policies aimed at putting climate change and sustainability at the center of the company’s business model. In the letter Fink noted that “climate risk is investment risk,” and “sooner than most anticipate there will be a significant reallocation of capital” to reckon with the climate crisis.
BlackRock continues to be the world’s largest investor in fossil fuels and the world’s largest investor in deforestation-linked commodities, which are the second leading driver of the climate crisis after fossil fuels.
In response to the letter, Jeff Conant, Friends of the Earth’s senior international forests program manager, issued the following statement:
BlackRock has felt the heat and is putting climate at the center of its investment strategy – a major shift with huge implications for both the asset management industry and the energy sector. But beyond its massive holdings in coal, oil and gas, BlackRock’s investments in companies destroying our forests are driving climate crisis. If BlackRock, and the financial sector writ large, fails to take serious action on deforestation, they’re missing the forest for the trees.
While rampant forest destruction is a major cause of climate change, forest protection is an equally powerful solution. If protecting the climate is going to be at the center of their business model, BlackRock must build out default deforestation-free funds. Further, BlackRock must act to aggressively change the way agricultural commodity companies operate to help reverse the global deforestation crisis.