We haven’t written much about Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing, which is one of the evils of our time. Basically, it seeks to force publicly-traded companies to take left-wing policy positions. Perhaps the number one force behind ESG has been BlackRock, Inc., the world’s largest asset manager with $10 trillion under management.
Given BlackRock’s prominence in the ESG movement, this headline couldn’t be more welcome: BlackRock ditches green activism over Russia energy fears.
BlackRock has warned it will vote against most shareholder green activism this year for being too extreme, in a significant u-turn by the world’s biggest money manager.
The company said it was concerned about proposals to stop financing fossil fuel companies, including forcing them to decommission assets and setting absolute targets for reducing emissions in their supply chains.
In a stewardship report, the asset manager said: “We do not consider [the proposals] to be consistent with our clients’ long-term financial interests.”
Its update represents a significant volte face for the asset manager which has been at the forefront of Wall Street’s push to encourage companies to shun fossil fuels and transition to greener alternatives.
Others who are not blinded by ideology will offer better results for their clients:
The decision to distance itself from “prescriptive” climate change policies comes as institutional investors face criticism for allegedly pushing political agendas.
On Thursday, Vivek Ramaswamy, a US health and technology entrepreneur, launched an “anti-woke” investment fund that will urge companies to focus on making money rather than championing political causes.
Mr Ramaswamy said the new venture, Strive Asset Management, has already received a host of job applications from employees at BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – what he dubbed an “ideological cartel”.
There are indications that wokeism has begun to retreat across a broad front. Let’s hope we can drive a stake through the heart of that complex of hateful ideologies.