You Can’t Eat Money – Protest at BlackRock’s UK HQ, City of London
October 14, 2019 by Extinction Rebellion
Phone: 07495 297625
Extinction Rebellion (XR) calls on the world’s largest asset management company BlackRock to:
- Wake up and smell your role in funding the burning of the Amazon and wildfires in the Arctic.
- Stop investing immediately in the worst companies driving global deforestation.
- Divest from fossil fuel stocks over the next five years and invest in renewable energy instead.
Black Rock, HQ – midday – 12 Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2DL. XR is targeting BlackRock because it’s the world’s biggest backer of climate and rainforest destruction. It’s the #1 investor in fossil fuels, including coal, and in the companies driving deforestation around the world. XR calls on BlackRock to disinvest from these sectors now and back renewables.
Whilst some XR activists glue themselves to the glass entrance of BlackRock’s UK HQ in the City of London, others nearby enact a drama, trying to eat paper money. They’re illustrating the old North American saying that ‘only after the last tree has been felled, and the last fish died, will we recognise that we can’t eat money’.
Jo Harris of XR Bristol says “BlackRock must stop its funding of all carbon extraction immediately, and give its shareholders a future by supporting renewables rather than opening up more coal and oil reserves”.
BlackRock stokes the fires that are destroying our planet. It invests in companies that use deforestation to produce beef, soy, palm oil, rubber and timber. It is also the world’s largest investor in coal mines, coal-fired utilities and oil and gas companies. It manages assets worth $6.5 trillion, more than the world’s third largest economy.
The American environmentalist Bill McKibben says that if BlackRock “simply decided to exclude fossil-fuel stocks from its main funds – or if it even just decided to underweight the stocks – it would send a message like no other.”
BlackRock’s chairman and CEO Larry Fink is profoundly wrong when he says that his overriding duty is to make money for clients and that “personal views on environmental or social issues don’t matter here.” Think again, Mr Fink.
BlackRock investors lost $90 billion over the past decade due to underperforming fossil fuel funds. Instead of using its shareholder power to undermine investor action to tackle the climate crisis, BlackRock should be divesting now to avoid stranded assets.
Due to the massive scale of its financial holdings, BlackRock literally has the power to determine whether our planet remains habitable or not.
XR calls on Larry Fink and BlackRock’s 5,000 UK based employees, its countless investors and shareholders, to wake up and smell the fires caused by its investments. Recognise that the world’s unprecedented Climate and Ecological Emergency is induced by the hydrocarbon industries and deforestation-risk companies, in which globally you are the #1 shareholder. Instead of committing ecocide and other crimes against humanity, we call on BlackRock to end the destruction and send the world and our struggling ecosystems a message like no other – a message of hope.
BlackRock can choose: a future of extinction or one of hope.
Notes to Editors
About Extinction Rebellion
Extinction Rebellion is a global movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of societal collapse – both of which are seen as inevitable if rapid action is not taken to rein in human-induced climate change and biodiversity loss.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inaction by their Government.
Starting on October 7th, Extinction Rebellion is calling an International Rebellion: https://www.facebook.com/events/2428146964128308/
Together, we will peacefully occupy the centres of power and shut them down until Governments act on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.
Extinction Rebellion’s Demands are:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.