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BlackRock Shows Resolve and Restraint in Public Climate Test

Larry Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc.

Larry Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Updated on

In the first major test of BlackRock Inc.’s commitment to use its vast influence and resources to fight climate change, the asset manager showed a capacity both for combativeness and restraint.

The $6.5 trillion firm said in a report on Tuesday it identified 244 companies during the 2020 annual proxy season that weren’t doing enough to either prepare their businesses for a warming planet or inform their investors about the possible risks to their operations from climate change. BlackRock voted against directors at 53 of the companies, or 22%, and said it will vote against directors at the remaining 191 next year if they fail to make significant progress over the coming 12 months.