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New York Times writer David Wallace-Well penned an op-ed Thursday that accused the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock and other corporations of “hypocrisy” on climate change. The article, titled “What’s Worse: Climate Denial or Climate Hypocrisy?”, Contends that many companies that pledged to invest in more climate friendly initiatives have not fulfilled their promises.
“The era of climate denial has been replaced with one plagued by climate promises that no one seems prepared to keep,” he wrote.
Wallace-Wells pointed to an annual letter published by BlackRock CEO Larry Fink as evidence for his claim. He noted that Fink “called global warming the most serious threat to the financial system in his 40 years of experience and promised a drastic response from his firm.”
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Wallace-Wells wrote that Fink’s promises included “making sustainability ‘integral to portfolio construction and risk management’, ditching investments that contribute to the problem; and pursuing not just sustainability but transparency, too, so we all could see what impacts the company was having . “
He asserted that “finance seemed to take the hintcreating a new wave of purportedly virtuous ‘environmental, social and governance’ (ESG) investing. “
Despite these promises, Fink has recently struck a radically different tone, according to Wallace-Wells.
“But in his annual letter this January, just two years later, Fink struck a radically different tone, rejecting ‘woke’ capitalism and elevating the principle that investors should center only on profits,” he wrote. “In the spring, the firm announced it would support fewer shareholder resolutions on climate change, ‘as we do not consider them to be consistent with our clients’ long-term financial interests.’ Just months before, BlackRock closed a $ 15.5 billion investment in Saudi pipelines. “
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“What should we call an about-face like this? The word that comes most easily to mind is ‘hypocrisy’ – or perhaps ‘greenwashing,’ the insult that activists like to lob at companies that use eco-friendly rhetoric to launder their reputations , “he added. “This basic phenomenon, in which powerful people make climate pledges that turn out to wildly outrace their genuine commitments, has now become so pervasive that it begins to look less like venality by any one person or institution and more like a new political grammar.”
Critics of ESG argue that it is a mechanism used by the government and private sector to force a transition away from oil and fossil fuels, as well as pushing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at the expense of fiduciary duty.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham blasted companies that utilize ESG.
“Environmental, social, governance. The acronym ESG is a classification and rating system that globalists are now using to pressure American companies into adopting progressive practices at every level of their operations. And like so many really bad ideas, it, of course, originated at the United Nations, “Ingraham said. “Now for years, they’ve aggressively marketed the concept as good for companies, good for you and good for the planet. ESG propaganda even comes in the form of really creepy videos.”
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Similarly, New York University Professor of Finance Aswath Damodaran argued against ESG.
“They act like they are the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa wrapped up in one, that they can identify what is virtuous,” he said on a podcast. “But there is no global consensus for what is good and virtuous,” he continued.
BlackRock has been criticized for promoting a globalist Left wing agenda in America while investing heavily in authoritarian and oppressive China.