Climate Activists Stage Direct Action Against BlackRock's Continued Financing of Amazon Fires

Activists post decals of Amazon fire destruction on BlackRock's San Francisco and New York headquarters calling out financier for climate commitments that fail to address deforestation and Indigenous rights violations

Amazon Watch

For more information, contact:

Ada Recinos at ada@amazonwatch.org or +1.510.473.7542


Photos of demonstrations in San Francisco and New York available.

San Francisco, CA, and New York, NY – Despite positioning itself as a financial firm that leads on climate earlier this year, BlackRock continues to be a major financial investor fueling the Amazon fires. Analysis from Amazon Watch has shown that BlackRock is a top investor in deforestation-risk commodities around the world, including in the Amazon.

On Tuesday, climate activists in San Francisco and New York took matters into their own hands in a direct action that replaced BlackRock's sleek branding with images of deforestation and destructive fires across the Brazilian Amazon. The removable decals were a part of a demonstration inspired by the Rainforest Fires Week of Action, a week-long series of direct and online events coordinated by a number of environmental groups across the country targeting major financial institutions and corporations profiting off the deforestation commodities that are destroying major rainforests around the world, from Indonesia to the Amazon.

The fate of the Amazon is at a major turning point. Due to an error with a NASA satellite causing delays in reporting data, Alberto Setzer, a senior scientist involved in producing the official fire data at Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (Inpe), says that recent data and news reports citing a 5 percent decrease in fires in the Brazilian Amazon are incorrect. Setzer estimates that once the full set of data is analyzed, it will show that fires increased by between 1% and 2% in August 2020 compared to August 2019. Making August of this year the worst burning season in a decade, according to an exclusive article from Reuters published today.

Pendle Marshall-Hallmark, Climate Campaigner for Amazon Watch and member of BlackRock's Big Problem campaign released the following statement:

"According to MAAP, as of August 30th of this year, over 1.1 million acres (453,000 hectares) of recently deforested areas have burned in the Brazilian Amazon. Given the urgency of what's happening in the Amazon today, it's encouraging to see that activists are turning out from coast to coast to hold BlackRock accountable for its contributions to climate change and rainforest destruction."

Patrick Houston, Climate & Inequality Organizer for New York Communities for Change and member of the BlackRock's Big Problem campaign released the following statement:

"We have to send this clear message to BlackRock and its CEO, Larry Fink: rhetoric won't prevent more record-breaking California wildfires, Hurricane Lauras, or Amazon razing, only action will. Unfortunately, while millions across the globe are feeling the heat of the climate emergency, Fink and BlackRock are fueling the fire with the hundreds of billions they invest in deforestation. That has to end."

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