'Climate pariah': Campaigners urge Blackrock to strengthen coal exclusion policy after counting $85bn of coal investments

Environmental NGOs urge investment giant to expand its coal exclusion policy to include bigger portion of coal value chain, noting that current ban applies to just 17 per cent of coal companies

NGOs have accused asset management giant BlackRock of greenwash after publishing findings that suggest the company has $85bn worth of assets invested in coal companies one year on from the firm’s high-profile pledge to exit investments in thermal coal.

A report published this morning by Reclaim Finance and Urgewald argues the world’s largest asset manager continues to play a leading role in supporting the coal sector, despite promises made this time last year by chief executive Larry Fink to put sustainability at the heart of all the investment giant’s decisions and to exit investments that “present a high-sustainability risk”, such as thermal coal producers.

The NGOs have urged BlackRock to fill “gaping holes” in the coal divestment policy introduced last year as part of Fink’s pivot towards more sustainable investment, noting that the current ban applies only to the asset manager’s actively managed portfolio, not the index funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) that make up two-thirds of the $7.8tr of assets BlackRock has under management. Companies explicitly targeted by the coal exclusion policy are therefore still being supported without restriction through BlackRock’s passive funds, the NGOs warned.

In addition, the campaigners’ analysis calculates the coal ban applies to just 17 per cent of the global coal value chain, due to restrictions being limited to companies that

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