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New report highlights BlackRock’s Big Problem with coal

WASHINGTON – A report released today from the German NGO Urgewald shows that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is the world’s leading investor investing in new coal plants. Blackrock owns an estimated $11 billion in shares and bonds across 56 companies investing in new coal plant construction, making it the largest investor in new coal capacity across in the financial sector.

BlackRock’s Big Problem, a coalition of environmental groups committed to shifting Blackrock away from climate destruction, weighed in on the significance of the findings:

“Blackrock and its CEO Larry Fink cannot greenwash the fact that their investments are fueling the climate crisis,” said Lukas Ross, Senior Policy Analyst at Friends of the Earth. “This report shows Blackrock is financing the destruction of our planet and escalating the climate crisis by pumping billions of dollars into dirty coal plant construction. If Blackrock wants to actually show concern for the environment, they must fundamentally transform their investments.”

“Whether looking at the overall 120 global coal plant developers outlined in Urgewald’s latest report or just the top companies with the biggest coal expansion plans, BlackRock pops up as the key investor at the top of the list time and again, said Diana Bast of The Sunrise Project. “Much of the world is getting serious about stopping coal plant expansion and rapidly phasing out of this deadly fuel source, but if we are to truly ‘exit coal’, BlackRock must act decisively now. The company has the investment dollars and Larry Fink has the political influence to drive this coal phase out.”

Additional notes on data:

When looking at the Urgewald data, of the top ten companies with largest coal power expansion plans–eight Chinese companies, one Turkish, one Indian–two have no almost no investor ownership (bonds or shares). Of the remaining eight, BlackRock is one of the top five investors (shares and bonds) in seven of them. When just looking at the top five companies expanding coal power, BlackRock is one of the top five investors (shares and bonds) in all of them, and the largest foreign investor in four of the five. 

Communications Contact: Erin Jensen, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0722, ejensen@foe.org

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