Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Liam Denning

Fink, Frackers and Putting the ‘G’ in ESG

BlackRock has the power to improve energy-sector governance, which could coincidentally help the environment too.

Laurence "Larry" Fink, chairman and chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc.

Laurence "Larry" Fink, chairman and chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc.

Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

If you’re jazzed about the environmental, social and governance, or ESG, investing thing, then the energy sector is probably way down your list of priorities. On the other hand, if, like Larry Fink, you’re trying to wield a $7 trillion cudgel in the interest of getting folks to pay attention to this stuff, then energy is a top target.

The BlackRock Inc. CEO’s letters and associated media blitz on Tuesday morning can be summed up as one long, thinly veiled threat. Fink acknowledges climate change is real and its consequences potentially catastrophic and, therefore, capital markets will shift accordingly — whether individual investors and companies are prepared for it or not. So best get on with it. Moreover, should companies fail to adequately take the initiative, BlackRock “will be increasingly disposed to vote against management and board directors.”