BlackRock lost $90bn investing in fossil fuel companies, report finds, World’s biggest fund manager urged to invest in clean energy for good of the climate and its investors by Jillian Ambrose, 31 Jul 2019, The Guardian
Will companies, AER, CAPP leave anything for Albertans or do they plan to take it all and leave only hundreds of billions of dollars in toxic liabilities?
BlackRock, the world’s biggest investor, has lost an estimated $90bn over the last decade by ignoring the serious financial risk of investing in fossil fuel companies, according to economists.
A report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has found that BlackRock has eroded the value of its $6.5tn funds by betting on oil companies that were falling in value and by missing out on growth in clean energy investments.
The report found that BlackRock’s multibillion-dollar investments in the world’s largest oil companies – including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP – were responsible for the bulk of its losses.
The fund manager was also stung by the collapse of big US fossil fuel companies, including General Electric, and the coal mining company Peabody.
Its combined funds are larger than the economy of Japan, the third largest economy in the world, making it the single largest investor in the global coal industry and one of the top three investors in most big oil companies.
“BlackRock wields an enormous amount of influence and shoulders a huge responsibility to the wider community. It has the power to lead globally to address climate risk, yet, to date, it remains a laggard,” Buckley said.
The report follows a stark warning from the Bank of England over the “significant risks to the economy and to the financial system” posed by fossil fuel investments.
The Bank has estimated that investments worth $20tn could be left “stranded” as governments set more ambitious climate targets.
It has also called on the fund to appoint a new independent chairman and refresh its 18-strong board, where six members are former executives from companies with close ties to the fossil fuel industry.
A spokesman for BlackRock said the asset-manager offered clients the option to invest in environmentally and socially responsible funds as well. These funds made up 0.8% of BlackRock’s total portfolio.
• This article was amended on 1 August 2019. An earlier version incorrectly described BlackRock as a fund in the text and subheading; it is a fund manager.
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