Blackrock CEO Larry Fink says more and more investors are focusing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues when making investments. Specifically, he said investors are focusing on climate change and that companies which are embracing stakeholder capitalism are outperforming their peers.
Blackrock CEO on ESG initiatives
At a Bloomberg New Economy Forum event on Thursday, he said President-elect Joe Biden's push to bring the U.S. back into the Paris climate agreement will be "monumental" and supportive of investors who have focused on climate change. Fink and other leaders talked about how they would work on the issues caused by climate change.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said they will invest more than one-third of their €750 billion economic stimulus in projects that fit with the European Union's goal for climate neutrality. Other panelists agreed that the push toward a greener economy is moving into a more challenging second phase that will attempt to replace carbon as a source of energy.
The last day of the conference will focus on health and include remarks from Bill Gates and World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Details on climate change initiatives
Bloomberg outlined the green energy initiatives set out by various companies at the New Economy Forum. For example, Sinopec Group, which is the largest oil refiner in China, is expanding to add a focus on green energy and materials. The company will use natural gas as its main energy source but also is working on geothermal, offshore wind and solar power. Sinopec is also building hydrogen refilling stations as infrastructure for hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Malaysian parliament member Yeo Bee Yin said at the forum that when the nation's policymakers work on its next power plan in 2024, coal won't be the cheapest option to generate energy any longer. She said only technology and markets will be able to push change fast enough for nations in Asia to meet the goals set forth in the Paris Agreement. She also said that by making its own pledge for climate change, China is helping other Asian nations make the same type of commitment.