BlackRock’s Big Problem Responds to Larry Fink’s 2023 Letter

'Deference to choice can’t be a shield for abdication of responsible risk management'

Ginny Cleaveland, Deputy Press Secretary, Fossil-Free Finance, Sierra Club,, 415-508-8498 (Pacific Time)

NEW YORK — Today, BlackRock released CEO Larry Fink’s annual chairman letter, for the first time addressing shareholders, clients, CEOs, investee companies, and other stakeholders in one statement. 

Partners within the BlackRock’s Big Problem network, a coalition of environmental, investor, and grassroots advocacy organizations, issued the following statements:

Jessye Waxman, Senior Campaign Representative in the Sierra Club's Fossil-Free Finance campaign

“Climate change is the single biggest long-term threat to financial markets, with impacts already felt across the economy. Fiduciary duty is about prioritizing clients' best interests, which requires responsible and proactive management of risk. BlackRock is leaning into offering clients choice, but deference to choice can’t be a shield for abdication of responsible risk management.” 

Moira Birss, Climate Finance Director at Amazon Watch 

“Fink has again recognized, as any clear-eyed observer would, that climate change risk is having a material impact in the world, citing rising insurance costs due to climate change numbers. However, Fink claims that BlackRock shouldn’t engineer outcomes related to climate change. This ignores the fact that maintaining the status quo is as much a choice as taking action. Continuing to steer client investments into the very causes of the climate crisis is engineering an outcome — further climate chaos and the financial crises that will ensue.”

Lucie Pinson, Executive Director at Reclaim Finance

“Larry Fink says that he encourages people to invest with a long term perspective, but he insists that they must have a choice of investing in the fossil fuel polluters that pose a long-term risk. When he urges people to invest for their retirements but stands ready to invest their pensions into companies destroying their future, Fink has its self interest in mind, not the long term interest of his clients.”


About the BlackRock’s Big Problem campaign:

BlackRock’s Big Problem is a global network of NGOs, social movements, grassroots groups, and financial advocates that are pressuring asset managers like BlackRock to rapidly align their business practices with a climate-safe world. Find more information about our network here.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit