Five Managers Targeted for Fossil Fuel Debt Financing

A new report by Sierra Club’s Fossil-Free Finance campaign has revealed that BlackRock, Vanguard, JP Morgan Asset Management, State Street Global Advisors and Invesco collectively hold US$741 billion in shares and bonds across fossil fuel companies. “Climate change is one of the biggest emerging risks to the economy and financial markets, but most of the world’s largest asset managers seem to be ignoring this fact,” said report author Jessye Waxman, Senior Strategist for the Sierra Club campaign. The US environmental non-profit highlighted the growing role of bond financing in “propping up” fossil fuel majors – including the likes of BP, ConocoPhillips and TotalEnergies, who are all involved in a number of fossil fuel expansion projects, such as the Willow drilling project in Alaska. Between January 2022 and May 2023, the five asset managers spent an estimated US$1.6 billion in new bonds to support a number of fossil fuel companies, including EQT Corporate (US$140 million) and Pioneer Natural Resources (US$157 million). “They continue to buy debt in companies engaging in fossil fuel expansion, thereby enabling the very activities that exacerbate risk for their clients’ portfolios,” said Waxman. “Simply put, buying fossil fuel bonds enables fossil fuel expansion, which in turn proliferates risks to people, planet, and portfolios. Asset managers need to make the responsible choice, for both their clients and the global community, and commit to stop buying new fossil fuel bonds.” The asset managers singled out by the campaign collectively manage more than US$25 trillion on behalf of their clients.

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