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BlackRock joins Climate Action 100+ investor initiative

BlackRock Inc. joined the Climate Action 100+ investor initiative, adding its influence to a group pushing global corporate greenhouse gas emitters to take action on climate change.

"This is a natural progression of the work our Investment Stewardship team has done to date," a BlackRock representative wrote in an emailed statement, confirming an initial report from the Financial Times. "We believe evidence of the impact of climate risk on investment portfolios is building rapidly and we are accelerating our engagement with companies on this critical issue."

BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager, with more than $6 trillion in assets under management. In recent years Chairman and CEO Larry Fink has warned companies that they risk losing the investing giant's support if they do not take steps to play a positive role in society. The firm has also come under pressure for opposing climate-related shareholder resolutions.

Climate Action 100+ is a coordinated climate-focused engagement strategy among 370 global investors with more than $35 trillion in assets under management. Through letters, direct meetings with company officials and shareholder resolutions, the group is pressing some of the largest companies in the consumer, transportation, energy, and metals and mining sectors to align their emissions goals with the Paris Agreement on climate change. It also wants the companies to assess and disclose climate risks in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, or TCFD, and implement a strong governance framework.

Companies such as Royal Dutch Shell PLC, BP PLC, Nestlé SA and Rio Tinto Energy America Inc. have all mentioned Climate Action 100+ when discussing new climate-related actions.

Climate Action 100+, which currently targets more than 150 companies, is organized by the sustainability-focused shareholder advocacy group Ceres.

"Given BlackRock's size and influence, their commitment to accelerating engagements with the largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters on climate change sends a powerful signal to companies to reduce emissions, improve corporate governance and strengthen their disclosure," Ceres CEO and President Mindy Lubber said in a statement.