In CEO Larry Fink's annual letter this week, the $7 trillion asset manager pledged to put climate and sustainability at the center of its strategy. BlackRock warned that climate change will "upend global finance sooner than most think", and plans to divest some coal holdings – more specifically shares in companies with more than 25 percent of their revenue in thermal coal – joining more than 100 financial institutions and investors that already have restrictions on coal. It also plans to substantially expand its roster of sustainability-oriented investments.
The move is proof that sustainability can move into the mainstream of capital markets as the big three index fund managers—BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street — have become the most important players in corporate America. BlackRock this week also signed up for the Climate Action 100+ group that is pressing the world's biggest emitters to change, signaling a likely shift in its proxy votes.
Read the full letter from BlackRock CEO Larry Fink here.