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Laurence D. Fink, chairman and C.E.O. in 2018. Photo: Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times

BlackRock's climate strategy rolled out Tuesday won't leave anyone confusing the asset management giant with Greenpeace, despite the suite of big new pledges.

Driving the news: Take the plan to dump producers of thermal coal — the stuff used in power plants — from their active portfolios.

  • It targets companies that generate more than 25% of their revenue from thermal coal.
  • But Bloomberg points out that "large, diversified miners — which also rank among the largest coal producers — won’t be affected."
  • Coal revenue for mining heavyweights Glencore, Anglo American and BHP Group are all under the 25% threshold, Bloomberg notes.

But, but, but: A new update from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says BlackRock's coal policy is nonetheless consequential.

  • They note it would likely capture firms including China Shenhua, China National Coal, Peabody Energy, Arch Coal Inc., Contura Energy, Adani Enterprises and many others.
  • And, they note, BlackRock's vow to "closely scrutinize" companies that use lots of thermal coal could bring divestment from big power companies like Duke Energy.

The big picture: Most of the trillions of dollars BlackRock manages for clients are in passive funds, which means the company isn't directly picking the investments.

  • Nonetheless, BlackRock's strategy does address passive investment vehicles. The firm is expanding offerings of sustainability-focused exchange-traded funds.
  • Part of that plan would allow clients to select funds that do not include certain companies and sectors, including a "fossil fuel screen."

The bottom line: Environmentalists generally applauded BlackRock's moves but also acknowledged their limits.

  • As the NYT notes, "Because of its sheer size, BlackRock will remain one of the world’s largest investors in fossil-fuel companies."

Go deeper: BlackRock vows focus on climate change

Go deeper

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Screenshot: Fox News

President Trump has delivered a farewell speech and departed Washington for the last time on Air Force One, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.