Black­Rock warns banks over cli­mate re­volt

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Tom Rees

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.

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