BlackRock's Big Problem: Amazon Destruction

BlackRock, the world's largest investment firm, has more money invested in the fossil fuel and agribusiness industries – the biggest drivers of climate change – than any other company in the world. That means that BlackRock's portfolio constitutes a huge liability for putting the planet on a path towards runaway climate change.

BlackRock's portfolio includes many companies operating in the Amazon; companies whose operations both contribute to rainforest deforestation and run roughshod over the territorial rights, health, and ways of life of the hundreds of indigenous peoples with unique languages and cultures who live in relyon the rainforest for their livelihoods and wellbeing.

These companies wouldn't have the primary tool they need – money – to drill for oil in indigenous territories in the Amazon rainforest were it not for the financial backing of investment firms like BlackRock.

BlackRock Invests in Amazon Oil Drilling

In the western Amazon Basin, oil and gas blocks cover at least two-thirds of the rainforest. Existing and proposed oil and gas blocks cover 280,000 square miles, an area larger than the state of Texas. Many of these blocks are in very remote areas, meaning that oil drilling requires building new roads and rainforests deep into the rainforest. This both causes deforestation and paves the way for further rainforest destruction from illegal logging, new settlements, and more.

BlackRock invests in several companies that hold licenses to explore and/or drill in the Western Amazon's fossil fuel frontier in blocks on or near the territories of indigenous nations that have not been properly consulted or have explicitly rejected the presence of oil drilling on their land.

BlackRock Invests in Amazon Agribusiness

In the Brazil, the largest Amazonian country, a forested area about the size of Dallas, TX is being lost every month, mostly to make way for the expansion of agricultural commodities like soy and beef. When forests are slashed and burned, a biologically and culturally ecosystem becomes a wasteland overnight.

BlackRock is major investor in the parent companies of Brazilian agribusiness firms that produce wood chips for paper products, soy, wheat and other agricultural commodities. Many of those Brazilian firms are owned by wealthy Brazilians who have used their political and economic influence to strip protections for forests and land rights in the Amazon.

BlackRock's Big Problem: Amazon Destruction

BlackRock's Big Problem Campaign

Meanwhile, BlackRock's CEO, Larry Fink, travels the world saying that businesses should have a "social purpose," play a positive role in society, and think "long term." Larry Fink wants to be thought of as a socially-responsible corporate leader, but BlackRock refuses to divest from tar sands, coal, Arctic oil, Amazon crude, and rainforest destruction, and it votes against shareholder demands for climate action and transparency. That is not social responsibility.

This hypocrisy and continued financing of the industries causing climate change is a BIG Problem. That's why we joined with the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and the Sunrise Project to launch a new campaign: BlackRock's Big Problem. We're calling on BlackRock to stop working with companies that destroy the climate and our precious ecosystems like the Amazon.

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