(Reuters) – New York City Comptroller Brad Lander said he is reassessing business relationships with BlackRock Inc. (NYSE :), among other asset managers, over concerns that it is moving away from its “climate commitments.”
The world’s largest asset manager has faced criticism from several sides in the low-carbon fuel debate, with environmentalists protesting that it does little to push for change in fossil fuel portfolio companies unilaterally, and US Republican politicians accusing it of boycotting energy stocks. .
“The fundamental discrepancy between BlackRock’s statements and actions is troubling,” Lander said in a letter dated September 21 to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink.
“BlackRock cannot simultaneously declare climate risk to be a systemic financial risk and argue that BlackRock has no role in mitigating the risks posed by climate change to its investments by supporting decarbonization in the real economy.”
The company warned the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month that its proposed rules aimed at combating “greenwashing” by fund managers would confuse investors.
Regulators and activists have become concerned that US money looking to make money from the popularity of ESG may be misleading shareholders about their ESG credentials.
BlackRock manages $43 billion in pension assets in the city and is the largest asset manager for three large public pensions in New York City.
It did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.