Major investment firm to prioritize sustainability, back off coal

Image of a seated person gesturing.

Enlarge / Larry Fink, chief
executive officer of BlackRock Inc., gestures while speaking at the
Handelsblatt Banking Summit in Frankfurt, Germany. (credit:
Bloomberg/Getty Images)

When it comes to taking action on climate change, the world has
entered a very strange place. Scientific results continue to
indicate that the consensus on our role in driving climate change
has every reason to be accepted. Several years of the predicted
impacts of climate change—record-high temperatures, massive
storms, and out-of-control wildfires—have left ever more of the
public ignoring the few skeptics and denialists who persist. Aside
from a handful of holdouts, governments have accepted that they
need to do something about climate change.

Despite all that, we continue to do very little, and carbon
emissions have continued to rise. Nowhere is this more obvious than
in the financial markets. It’s very clear that companies are
assigning value to the rights to extract fossil fuels deposits,
even though governments will almost certainly block some of them
from being developed. And they continue to do so because
governments and investors allow them to.

Divestment campaigns have started to change that, causing $12
trillion in assets to be pulled from businesses dependent upon
fossil fuels. But the movement may have picked up some significant
additional momentum this week as one of the largest investment
firms, BlackRock, announced that it will be making sustainability,
and climate change in particular, central to its strategies.
Included in its announcement is that it would immediately begin
pulling out of many coal investments and complete the change before
the year is out.

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Source: FS – Industry
Major investment firm to prioritize sustainability, back off coal



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