THE TEAM - About Us SUBMISSIONS Email US Text & Voicemail
Privacy Policy Terms of Service

Gab Social Gettr Twitter Youtube Facebook RSS
Blacklisted Listed News Logo
Menu - Navigation
Menu - Navigation

Cited Sources

2nd Smartest Guy in the World
2nd Amendment Shirts
10th Amendment Center
Aaron Mate
Activist Post
Aletho News
Alliance for Natural Health, The
Armstrong Economics
Ben Bartee
Big League Politics
Black Vault, The
Brandon Turbeville
Breaking Defense
Brownstone Institute
Burning Platform, The
Business Insider
Business Week
Caitlin Johnstone
Campus Reform
Charles Hugh Smith
Children's Health Defense
Citizen Free Press
Citizens for Legit Gov.
CNN Money
Collective Evolution
Common Dreams
Conscious Resistance Network
Corbett Report
Counter Signal, The
Daily Bell, The
Daily Reckoning, The
Daily Veracity
Dark Journalist
David Haggith
Defense Industry Daily
Defense Link
Defense One
Dennis Broe
Dr. Robert Malone
Drs. Wolfson
Drudge Report
Economic Collapse, The
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Ellen Brown
Emerald Robinson
Expose, The
F. William Engdahl
Farm Wars
Faux Capitalist
Foreign Policy Journal
Foundation For Economic Freedom
Free Thought Project, The
From Behind Enemy Lines
From The Trenches
Future of Freedom Foundation
Geopolitical Monitor
Glenn Greenwald
Global Research
Global Security
Grayzone, The
Great Game India
Guadalajara Geopolitics
Helen Caldicott
Homeland Sec. Newswire
Human Events
I bank Coin
Information Clearing House
Information Liberation
Insider Paper
Intel News
Intercept, The
Jay's Analysis
John Adams
John Pilger
John W. Whitehead
Jonathan Cook
Jon Rappoport
Jordan Schachtel
Just The News
Kevin Barret
Last American Vagabond, The
Lew Rockwell
Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
Libertas Bella
Liberty Unyielding
Market Oracle
Market Watch
Maryanne Demasi
Matt Taibbi
Medical Express
Michael Snyder
Michael Tracey
Middle East Monitor
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
Military Info Tech
Mind Unleashed, The
Mint Press
Mises Wire
Money News
Moon of Alabama
My Budget 360
Naked Capitalism
Natural News
New American, The
New Eastern Outlook
News Deck
Nicholas Creed
Oil Price
Organic Prepper, The
Phantom Report
Pierre Kory
Political Vigilante
Public Intelligence
Reclaim The Net
Richard Dolan
RTT News
Rutherford Institute
Shadow Stats
Slay News
Slog, The
South Front
Sovereign Man
Steve Kirsch
Strange Sounds
Strike The Root
Summit News
Tech Dirt
Technocracy News
Techno Fog
Terry Wahls, M.D.
Tom Renz
True Activist
unlimited hangout
Unreported Truths
Unz Review, The
Vigilant Citizen
Waking Times
Wall Street Journal
Wallstreet on Parade
Wayne Madsen
What Really Happened
Whitney Webb
winter oak
Wolf Street
Zero Hedge

BlackRock, State Street Admit Signing Net-Zero Pledges They Don’t Act On

Published: December 30, 2022 | Print Friendly and PDF

Texas state senators struggled for more than six hours last week to get straight answers from Wall Street giants BlackRock and State Street, two of the world’s largest asset managers, regarding what they are doing to compel companies whose shares they own to get in line with the ESG movement.

Wind turbines in Papalote, Texas, on June 15, 2021. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Having joined global Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) clubs like Climate Action 100+ and the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative (NZAM), and signed pledges to leverage their voting power as the largest shareholders in 90 percent of the S&P 500 companies to “reach net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner across all assets under management,” the asset managers testified that, in reality, they are doing no such thing.

When asked by Senate Chairman Bryan Hughes to clarify BlackRock’s pledge to Climate Action 100+ “to secure commitments from companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the Paris Agreement,” BlackRock’s Head of External Affairs Dalia Blass responded that BlackRock merely talks to companies whose shares they own to learn about their “material risks and opportunities.”

We participate in Climate Action 100 to engage in dialogue with other participants, market participants, governments so that we understand issues that are relevant to our clients,” said Blass, who recently joined BlackRock from the Biden Administration where she worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The motto of Climate Action 100+ is “Global investors driving business transition.”

State Senator Bryan Hughes, a Republican, speaks during a Texas Senate Committee hearing in Marshall, Texas, on Dec. 15, 2022. (Consumers’ Research YouTube page / screenshot via The Epoch Times)

“The website doesn’t say anything about engaging in dialogue in Climate Action 100,” Hughes responded. “BlackRock’s website says, ‘We have joined Climate Action 100 to help ensure the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change.’ True or false?”

To which, Blass responded, “Sir … what I can say … two things …”

Having repeated the question, Hughes asked, “Can BlackRock send us a witness who can tell us whether that’s a true or false statement on its website today?”

Sir, if you pulled that off our website, then that is on our website,” Blass responded.

State Street and BlackRock are two of the “Big Three” largest asset managers. Together with Vanguard, they manage approximately $20 trillion in assets on behalf of corporations, governments, and endowments, as well as the savings of tens of millions of people who are investing through vehicles like 401K plans. Vanguard recently withdrew from its membership in NZAM and was excused from testifying in Texas.

Asset managers who support ESG policies typically make two contradictory claims. In order to make a case that they are not violating their fiduciary duty to people whose savings they manage, they argue that ESG is not an ideology but rather an essential risk-management tool that they use to generate higher returns for their clients.

In a 2021 Euromoney interview, State Street Global Advisors’ Chief Investment Officer Lori Heinel explained that “companies who pay attention to their ESG footprint and profile, and proactively manage that, actually are better managed companies and that accrues to a longer term shareholder result.”

Simultaneously, asset managers claim that, despite what they may have said or pledged, they actually don’t do anything to push the ESG agenda on companies, and are in fact active supporters of the fossil fuel industry.

Blass told the senators that it has $107 billion invested in public energy companies in Texas. “We’ve invested in Texas energy, just the past two years, $31 billion,” she said. “We believe in these investments; we do not boycott oil and gas.”

State Sen. Bob Hall asked: “Where’s the empirical data that supports that net zero is good for the bottom line, that it actually would improve income, improve revenue? And the rest of the things that are stuck in that woke analysis, where is the empirical data that says this will actually be a benefit to the investment?”

Dalia Blass, BlackRock’s Head of External Affairs and Lori Heinel, State Street Global Advisors’ Chief Investment Officer during a Texas Senate Committee hearing in Marshall, Texas, on Dec. 15, 2022. (Consumers’ Research YouTube page / screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Blass responded that, based on BlackRock’s research, “we believe that an orderly transition to a low carbon economy is much more beneficial for our clients’ portfolios. A disorderly transition can cost the global economy about a 25 percent reduction in GDP.”

Heinel told the Texas senators, “I have no evidence that this is good for returns in any time frame. In fact, we’ve seen the evidence to be quite contrary. Last year if you didn’t own energy companies you did miserably compared to broad benchmarks. The year before, that was quite the opposite … but that was just a happenstance, that’s not because it’s a good investment.”

Regarding compliance with ESG criteria, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink stated at the New York Times 2017 DealBook summit that “behaviors are going to have to change, and this is one thing that we’re asking companies. You have to force behaviors, and here at BlackRock we are forcing behaviors.”

Hughes cited a statement from Fink to CEOs in 2020: “Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects. … we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.” He asked Blass how BlackRock thought finance should be reshaped.

Blass responded that the goal of finance as BlackRock sees it has always been “to find opportunities for our clients and to manage risks in their portfolios so that we can produce the best risk-adjusted returns.” BlackRock’s mission, she said, hasn’t changed.

Hughes told Blass: “What we’re learning is, BlackRock says whatever it needs to say to whoever it’s talking to at the time,” he said. “That’s what we’re experiencing today.”

Heinel testified that, like BlackRock, State Street joined various ESG clubs like Climate Action 100+, Ceres, and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) merely to learn “how to think about climate change,” Heinel said. “We’re trying to understand how these various risks are becoming as important as traditional financial risks,” citing as an example new taxes that may be imposed in Europe on “companies that they believe are bad actors from a climate standpoint.”

When asked to clarify why companies should follow ESG criteria, asset managers cite the effect of government policies, like taxes and penalties for companies that don’t comply with ESG criteria, as well as state subsidies for renewable energy, all of which are part of what Blass called the “net zero transition, the transition to a low carbon economy.” According to clubs like Climate Action 100+ and GFANZ, the role of asset managers who join these clubs is to compel companies whose shares they own into compliance.

Heinel testified that, as an index fund manager, Vanguard must buy and hold the shares of companies included in a given index such as the S&P 500. Therefore, if they want to influence companies’ behavior, they must work with executives of those companies rather than avoid their shares.

We engage with companies in our portfolios; we do not divest,” Heinel said. State Street currently owns more than $140 billion in shares of energy companies.

On the other hand, she said, “we do not discriminate against companies in any sector, including energy companies … That means we do not tell those energy companies to shift their strategy, or to drill more wells.”

Texas senators brought up the case of the Pirky power plant, a coal-fired plant located near the hearing site, which though operationally viable is being shut down by its parent company, American Electric Power (AEP), shares of which are owned by BlackRock.

“Climate Action 100 says AEP is one of [BlackRock’s] focus companies, and as you know, Climate Action 100 assesses utility companies based on whether they’ve assigned a retirement date to each and every coal unit with a full phase out by 2040,” Hughes said. He quoted from a paper co-authored by BlackRock and GFANZ, titled “How to Facilitate the Early Retirement of High Emitting Assets,” which stated that asset managers must “manage down the greenhouse gas emissions from their portfolios rather than divest and transfer them to someone with less climate ambition.”

“That means that GFANZ, working with BlackRock, has said it’s better to make the companies keep the coal plants and manage them down, that means shut them down, rather than sell them to someone else who will keep operating them and keep the power and the jobs coming,” Hughes stated.

Blass responded that “managing down” doesn’t mean closing plants and that BlackRock is an investor in carbon-capture technology to reduce emissions.

State Sen. Brian Birdwell noted that one third of Texas electricity generation comes from coal-fired plants and said “we’re scared to death about what you’re going to do to our citizens in the state of Texas.”

“You told us earlier that your objective was to maximize investments,” Hall said. “Now you’re telling us that your objective is zero carbon emissions. Which is it?”

“Our objective as a fiduciary asset manager is to provide the best risk adjusted returns for our clients,” Blass said. “We do that by looking at how the companies are managing their risks and as the global regulators, including here in the United States, are moving more and more towards a regulatory system around net zero and carbon production, we look at how they’re managing that to make sure that long-term they’re able to produce results for our clients.”

Texas State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst said she worried about the “the disadvantage for our country as we bend to ESG but some of our competitors do not.” China has dramatically increased its investment in coal-fired power plants, she said, but “right here in the county in which we sit, we’re going to decommission a coal plant because of ESG scoring; because AEP is being forced to do that to be eligible to compete to get funds.”

“China, Russia, and India are putting their countries first,” Kolkhorst told Blass and Heinel. “While we’re all bending to some scoring where you all sit around a table.”

Hall said that when the pollution and emissions from the construction and disposal of wind turbines and solar panels is factored in, the environmental benefits of renewable energy are unclear.

“All the concrete and steel and construction, that gets left out of the carbon analysis and they just pretend that it only exists once it’s in place and the blades are turning,” Hall said. “The analysis that ignores the manufacturing and the disposal process of solar panels—huge impact to the environment, that gets left out. So we’re going to run around say, ‘Oh, this is low carbon impact.’

“It’s not, it’s a lie.”

Read more here...

Share This Article...


Ad Blocking software disables some of the functionality of our website, including our comments section for some browsers.

Powered by FundRazr
Gab Social Gettr Twitter Youtube Facebook RSS

BlackListed News 2006-2023
Privacy Policy
Terms of Service