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A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ginny Cleaveland, Deputy Press Secretary, Fossil-Free Finance, Sierra Club,, 415-508-8498

Local Climate Advocates Respond to Louisiana Treasurer's Move to Cut Ties With Blackrock

Sierra Club, Healthy Gulf, Louisiana Bucket Brigade call the political move a slap in the face to environmental justice communities


Today the Louisiana state treasurer announced plans to cut ties with major asset manager BlackRock and withdraw nearly $800 million in state money from the firm due to its stated sustainability policies. The move puts Louisiana in a similar position to other Republican-led states, including Texas and West Virginia, who cut off some business with the asset management firm over its position on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.

Despite some movement by BlackRock to promote sustainable investing, the world's largest asset manager remains a major investor in fossil fuels, even weakening its support for climate-related proposals this shareholder season.

In response to the news, the Sierra Club's Delta Chapter and climate advocates representing frontline community groups in Louisiana issued the following statements:

"Companies like BlackRock incorporate climate and social risk factors into their investment decisions because it makes good business sense -- and because it is the right thing to do. Louisiana is being run by cowards who put their fear before families. Our state treasurer is simply following the lead of other Republican states in veering us off the necessary path to a just transition. This is a slap in the face to environmental justice communities and the frontline leaders fighting for clean air and clean water across this state," said Roishetta Ozane, Southwest Louisiana Organizing Director with Healthy Gulf.

"What a sad state of affairs it is to consider loving your neighbor as being woke. The political backlash over BlackRock including the community and environmental impacts in its investment decisions demonstrate just how deep the polluter industry's hooks are -- and who these politicians really work for. ESG won't destroy Louisiana's economy; politicians delaying economic diversification and the rising seas will," said James Hiatt, Southwest Louisiana Coordinator for the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.

"This move by Louisiana's state treasurer to stop doing business with a financial institution over its sustainable investment policies is just the latest flavor of climate denial cooked up by right-wing politicians and their fossil fuel industry donors. It's part of a broader attempt to prevent free-market businesses like BlackRock from addressing urgent climate-related financial risks that are affecting our state, preventing us from adapting the way Louisianians have done for centuries" said Jessi Parfait, Campaign Representative in the Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign. "In reality, financial firms like BlackRock continue to be major financiers of fossil fuels, and aren't doing nearly enough to address the destructive impacts of their investments. At the end of the day, when states cut off financial firms to score political points, the real impact is felt by the taxpayers and residents who have to bear the costs of these theatrics."

A study revealed that a similar move in Texas preventing the state from doing business with certain banks that had reduced their business with gun manufacturers ended up costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in just its first year of implementation.

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