TOO PRESCRIPTIVE: BlackRock Signals Supporting Less Shareholder Resolutions on Climate Change for 2022

Posted on 05/15/2022

BlackRock is the world’s biggest asset manager with just under US$ 10 trillion in assets. However, the majority of those assets are in passive exchange-traded funds. BlackRock confirmed on May 10, 2022, that they expect to support fewer shareholder resolutions on issues such as climate change in the current season of annual general meetings, as many proposals were too prescriptive.

BlackRock said that its stance on climate change risks remain unchanged. BlackRock plans to continue to engage with listed companies over “climate-related” issues.

“The nature of certain shareholder proposals coming to a vote in 2022 means we are likely to support proportionately fewer this proxy season than in 2021, as we do not consider them to be consistent with our clients’ long-term financial interests,” BlackRock said in an investment stewardship update.

BlackRock CEO penned his letter (The Power of Capitalism) in 2022 to CEOs, stating, “Divesting from entire sectors – or simply passing carbon-intensive assets from public markets to private markets – will not get the world to net zero. And BlackRock does not pursue divestment from oil and gas companies as a policy. We do have some clients who choose to divest their assets while other clients reject that approach. Foresighted companies across a wide range of carbon intensive sectors are transforming their businesses, and their actions are a critical part of decarbonization. We believe the companies leading the transition present a vital investment opportunity for our clients and driving capital towards these phoenixes will be essential to achieving a net zero world.”

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