BlackRock CEO Larry Fink first made headlines by promising to put climate change at the heart of his firm’s investment strategy two years ago, telling CEOs they must establish net-zero carbon targets or face consequences. More recently, Fink led an investor group taking a majority minority stake in Saudi Aramco’s gas pipeline network through leasing usage rights from Aramco’s natural gas pipeline network for 20 years at least; their investment funds–BlackRock Real Assets and Hassana Investment Co–committed to invest a minimum investment amount of $12.4 billion, according to Aramco’s statement.
The deal underscores natural gas’s growing significance to global energy supplies. Indeed, according to research released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), meeting global warming goals requires using more natural gas than fossil fuels that produce the highest carbon emissions. Furthermore, should global average temperatures surpass 2degC, renewables such as renewable electricity production and hydrogen will likely take precedence over coal and oil energy supplies; consequently the natural gas market is set for significant expansion within 10 years.
Amin Nasser, president and chief executive officer of Aramco – one of the world’s leading oil producers – will join BlackRock’s board as an independent director. BlackRock says Nasser’s experience at Aramco, including its recent public offering in 2019, provides “unique insights” on industry’s transition toward lower carbon footprint. Furthermore, his knowledge of Middle Eastern region will play an essential role in BlackRock’s long-term strategic plans.
BlackRock’s current directors have extensive ties to the fossil fuel industry. Murry Gerber, BlackRock’s lead independent director, earned millions overseeing fracking boom as CEO of EQT; additionally he served on Halliburton’s board which played an instrumental role in spurring US shale drilling.
BlackRock may want to present itself as being sensitive to environmental and social concerns, yet their business practices and governance practices do substantial harm. As an example, this company has invested billions of dollars in military weapons manufacturers that equip and profit from war machines worldwide – contributing directly to refugee crises. BlackRock is one of the biggest beneficial owners of Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics Northrop Grumman and Raytheon defense contractors – with interlocked relationships between executive directors and governors of BlackRock’s management and these defense contractors. BlackRock investments contribute to climate catastrophe and harm communities of color around the world – this is why BlackRock shareholders must demand they divest from weapon makers – click here if you would like to join their cause!