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New report confirms BlackRock’s big fossil fuel problem

WASHINGTON – A report released today from the UK-based NGO Influence Map shows that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, owns more oil, gas and thermal coal reserves than any other investor. The data shows that BlackRock holds  reserves in fossil fuels amounting to a staggering 9.5 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions — or 30 percent of total energy-related carbon emissions from 2017. BlackRock has  the highest ratio of coal investments compared to its overall size among the ten largest fund managers.

This comes less than a week after a separate report from the German NGO Urgewald showed that Blackrock is the largest investor in companies building new coal power capacity across the world with a total investment of over $11 billion USD.

BlackRock’s Big Problem, a campaign of climate, environment and human rights groups committed to shifting Blackrock away from climate destruction, weighed in on the significance of these findings:

“No amount of greenwashing can erase the fact that BlackRock is financing the destruction of our planet and escalating the climate crisis,” said Lukas Ross, Senior Policy Analyst at Friends of the Earth. “As long as BlackRock is the top investor in fossil fuel development, Larry Fink’s sustainability claims will remain hollow and hypocritical. If BlackRock is as concerned for the environment as they say, then they must immediately transform their investments.”

“Larry Fink and BlackRock want to portray themselves as Wall Street’s conscience, and have begun marketing new ‘sustainable’ investment products to millennials. Yet this data shows that BlackRock cannot paint itself as sustainable as long as it is the number one investor in fossil fuel reserves and new coal plant development.” said Moira Birss of Amazon Watch. “From coal in Powder River Basin to oil in the Amazon rainforest, our climate and our ecosystems must be protected, and BlackRock clearly has an outsized role to play in that.”

“Larry Fink wants to be viewed as a climate leader, but BlackRock’s investments tell a very different story,” said Sierra Club campaign representative Ben Cushing. “There’s an urgent need for real action to combat climate change, and it’s time for Larry Fink and BlackRock to put their money and power where their mouth is.”

Contacts: Erin Jensen, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0722, ejensen@foe.org
Gabby Brown, Sierra Club, (914) 261-4626, gabby.brown@sierraclub.org
Moira Birss, Amazon Watch, (510)394-2041, moira@amazonwatch.org

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