BlackRock warns banks over climate revolt
BANK bosses who finance fossil fuel firms are facing a revolt from the world’s biggest investor amid mounting pressure over climate change.
BlackRock is preparing to take action against banks ahead of next year’s shareholder meetings and has drawn up a global watchlist of 191 companies closely linked to global warming.
The firm – which looks after $6.5 trillion (£5.1 trillion) of savers’ money – plans to rebel in future investor votes if businesses fail to improve. This year, it voted against the re-election of directors at the likes of Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler, airline Lufthansa and oil giant ExxonMobil over a failure to make progress on how they report climate change risks.
Bosses are now planning to take aim at banks that stay silent over the role their funding plays in creating carbon emissions. It comes as regulators increase their scrutiny of the industry over the climate, and activists take aim at Barclays’ funding of fossil fuel firms.
BlackRock has warned company directors it will revolt at annual meetings if they fail to make progress on manag- ing climate risk. It wants firms to disclose the impact of climate change on their business and how they plan to mitigate the threat.
A BlackRock report revealing the votes warned that the 191 firms on the watchlist must make substantial progress before their annual meetings next year or risk incurring its wrath.
The business took action against 53 firms at annual meetings this year over climate change, including Londonlisted miner Evraz. The majority were energy companies.