Three of the world’s largest asset managers – BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street – with trillions of dollars under their control, invest in oil companies with horrific environmental and human rights records across the Amazon Basin. Right now, these asset managers hold a large amount of risk by actively contributing to Indigenous and human rights abuses, forest destruction, biodiversity loss, and climate chaos. The “Big Three” can’t claim to be climate champions while steering client money into oil drilling in the rainforest.
The latest report from Amazon Watch, titled Investing in Amazon Crude II: How the Big Three Asset Managers Actively Fund the Amazon Oil Industry, examines the links between those top three asset managers. Together, the “Big Three” BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street hold $46 billion in oil companies, such as ENAP and Petroamazonas, operating in the Amazon.
Patricia Gualinga, a historic leader of the original Kichwa Sarayaku people, a leader of Mujeres Amazonicas, and a defender for Indigenous rights and the rights of nature shared the following about the findings:
“Asset managers must stop supporting companies that violate human rights, commit genocide and ethnocide in our territories, disregard women’s rights, and affect our environment. Indigenous territories protect life on this planet. Financial institutions must generate a global conscience to save this world, and all corporations that invest in fossil fuels must initiate a profound transition that protects life on this planet and our Amazon.”
The report concludes by outlining five essential actions that the Big Three must take in 2021, and urges clients of these firms to insist that they complete them:
- Exclude Amazon (and climate) harming companies from active funds
- Expand pro-climate engagement and voting
- Adopt a global baseline climate standard for ESG
- Promote human and Indigenous rights
- Offer Amazon and climate-safe funds by default