Financial giant takes climate change role

Blackrock is an entity that manages over $7 trillion (yes that is a “t”) in corporate investments associated with retirement funds, 401(k)s and long-term strategies.

Recently the CEO of Blackrock investments, Larry Fink, wrote in his annual “letter to CEOs” that Blackrock would only be investing in sustainable corporations. This letter is considered a beacon in the industry that shines a light on the future of international finance. Fink states Blackrock will be divesting holdings in the fossil fuel industry, including coal, and states that the climate crisis and climate change will most likely “fundamentally reshape” world finance in a short time. To protect Blackrock’s holdings it will only invest in sustainable corporations. By any metric there are far more jobs in the U.S. at this time available in the solar industry than in the coal industry. The coal industry is a dinosaur of a bygone era. Much good can be said of the workers and miners in this industry who helped build this country but that time is over.

It’s unclear why Blackrock is taking this strategy now. For years it has funded deforestation and the fossil fuel industry. Perhaps it has been influenced by the courageous efforts of Greta Thunberg and millions of young people throughout the world who see their future ending. Perhaps it’s the realization of the need for survival.

Seven trillion dollars in investments. This is the scale of commitment necessary in the private sector to begin to address the climate crisis. In the governmental sector we need sweeping legislation such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763) developed over 10 years by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. HR 763 is bipartisan and before Congress. Please contact your legislators and tell them to act now.

Robert Wojnowski

Eau Claire