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BlackRock CEO Larry Fink. Photo: Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images

BlackRock is calling on companies to "disclose a plan for how their business model will be compatible with a net-zero economy," per the New York Times' coverage of CEO Larry Fink's annual letter this morning.

Why it matters: BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager. And per the NYT story, they're vowing to back up their call by throwing more weight around with companies in their actively managed portfolio.

How it works: From the NYT piece...

  • "BlackRock’s size gives it enormous influence: Mr. Fink can seek to oust directors of companies that he doesn’t believe are heeding his call and he can dump the shares of companies owned by the firm’s actively managed funds."
  • The Times also reports that BlackRock is planning a “heightened-scrutiny model” on climate risk for actively managed funds, including “flagging holdings for potential exit.”

Yes, but: Climate activists have criticized BlackRock's past efforts as often more bark than bite, despite steps like voting against some Exxon board members.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Jan 26, 2021 - Economy & Business

Larry Fink to CEOs: Climate risk is investment risk

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The biggest investor in the world has an unambiguous message for the CEOs of the companies he invests in: climate risk is investment risk.

Why it matters: Pressure from BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, who controls $9 trillion, will encourage companies to report not only what their greenhouse gas emissions are today, but also what they're doing to ensure that their future emissions are in line with Paris Agreement targets that end at zero in 2050.

25 mins ago - Health

America's new approach to masks is even more scattershot than before

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In grocery stores and pizza joints, main streets and downtowns across the country, pandemic precautions range wildly — from nonexistent to 2020 deja vu.

The big picture: As COVID-19 cases surge, especially in states with low vaccination rates, the country is once again in the throes of a fraught cultural and political debate over face masks.

From gypsy moths to Audubon, nature names face racism test

Freshly hatched caterpillars of gypsy moths on the bark of a red oak. Photo: Sebastian Willnow/picture alliance via Getty Images

Bugs, birds, fish and plants with names linked to white supremacists may be renamed, as science confronts its own ties to systemic racism.

Why it matters: The national reckoning was inevitably going to pass this way. The sciences have long underrepresented and erected barriers of entry to people of color and there’s a concerted effort for a reset under way in academia, research and hiring.