Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Press Release

BlackRock Must Manage for Climate Risk as it Takes On Fed Debt Buyout Program

Groups urge BlackRock to uphold climate commitments while aiding Fed
WASHINGTON -

Today, the Federal Reserve announced that it hired BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to shepherd several debt-buying programs on behalf of the U.S. central bank as it works to revive the economy from the impacts of the spread of coronavirus.

The programs include purchases of mortgage-backed security purchases, new investment-grade bonds, and already-issued investment-grade bonds including exchange-traded-funds, of which BlackRock is the world’s largest purveyor.

Moira Birss, Climate & Finance Director at Amazon Watch, a core partner of the BlackRock’s Big Problem campaign, said:

"If BlackRock is going to be managing trillions of dollars for the US government – taxpayers’ money – then it must make sure it’s not locking us into a future climate-related market crash.

"Just this January, BlackRock announced that it would put climate at the center of its investment strategy moving forward, recognizing the longer-term risk that climate change poses to its clients’ portfolio as well as the wider financial system. As recently as last week, BlackRock staff reiterated this commitment. But while economic recovery for everyday Americans is vitally important right now, corporate bond buying programs like these are stealth fossil fuel company bailouts if adequate climate safeguards are not applied."

Diana Best, Senior Finance Strategist with the Sunrise Project, a core partner with the BlackRock’s Big Problem campaign, responded:

"Helping our economy get through this global pandemic is vitally important, but in doing so we shouldn’t be accelerating climate change, which BlackRock itself has acknowledged poses a direct threat to the global financial system. Companies which continue the expansion and production of fossil fuels are inconsistent with goals to manage the climate crisis; propping them up without clear Paris-compliant transition plans is unacceptable for any prudent fiscal policy.

"BlackRock has said it believes climate change is a core risk to the financial system. If it wouldn’t deal with certain climate risky products for its clients, it shouldn’t be managing these toxic assets for the Fed either. BlackRock must treat this with the same level of caution, risk management, and due diligence it applies for any of its clients and it should maintain its commitments to centering climate risk."

###

Amazon Watch is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. We partner with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and the preservation of the Amazon's ecological systems.

Host 'Censored and Fired' by The Hill Over Segment on Tlaib Naming Israeli Apartheid

"Sadly, Israel is an apartheid state and we have to push back," said progressive commentator Katie Halper. "And when we encounter censorship, we can't just run away with our tails between our legs."

Jake Johnson ·


'When We Fight, We Win!' San Francisco Airport Workers End Strike After Pay Victory

"This strike was so worth it to give my family a better life," said one union member.

Jake Johnson ·


US Gas Flaring Releases Five Times More Methane Than Previously Thought

"This study adds to the growing body of research that tells us that the oil and gas industry has a flaring problem," said Jon Goldstein of EDF, which conducted related research on the practice.

Jessica Corbett ·


Activists Call Fed Pilot Program to Assess Banks' Climate Risk a 'Welcome First Step'

"To truly safeguard financial stability," said one campaigner, "the Fed must further introduce policies that reflect the high risk of fossil fuel investments."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Gut Punch': Biden Pulls Student Debt Relief for Millions as GOP States Sue

"The Biden administration told several million people they'd see their debt reduced by $10-20K, and a month later quietly wrote 'just kidding' on a website," said one affected borrower.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo