Net zero: A global shift with local impact

Larry Fink: We have some parts of the country that are very, very worried about what this transition will mean for their state, their locality, for their jobs. And so, this is not going to be an easy task. But I would say across the board, capital is moving, and it's going to move very rapidly. And I'm very proud that I can tell you right now; every hydrocarbon company in the United States is now focused on this whereas I would say three to four years ago, they weren't. They did not believe it. We are making change, and I would say we're making more rapid change because of Bill and other people who are expressing this openly.

Bill Gates: Well, the bulk of emissions in the decades ahead will come from developing countries. Let's think of it in three tiers. The rich countries: that's Europe, U.S., Japan. The middle income countries; that's where most of humanity lives. That's, you know, China on the high end – high middle income – and India on the low end. And you've got Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Vietnam, a lot of the world's population there. And then you have some very poor countries, a lot in Africa. The responsibility to innovate rests entirely on the rich countries, and particularly on the U.S., because the U.S. has the universities, the national labs; it's got the ability to organize risk-laden capital. We will not solve climate change without the rich world driving down dramatically. That will make it economic for the middle-income countries who are not responsible for the historic emissions and who are dealing with more basic needs.

Watch Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, and Bill Gates, Founder of Breakthrough Energy, discuss the complex challenge of reaching net zero emissions and how the transition will spur innovation and accelerate change.

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Larry Fink: I really believe the transformation of leadership, the transformation of businesses is about more and more leaders in their focusing on things about their stakeholders. They're connecting with their employees deeper and broader, they’re connecting with the client broader and they're certainly trying to be more connected to their society. So much of that is in this letter it is about moving forward on better disclosure, more complete disclosure, especially in that zero climate change. And investing is something that is a powerful economic result. As we move towards a more sustainable world it's going to create great jobs, is going to create a you know a great environment, and so we should not be afraid of it we should all be embracing it and finding ways that we could you know be a part of that and I think this is one of the big messages in the 2021 letter.

Larry Fink on our sustainable future

Larry Fink, BlackRock’s Chairman and CEO, discusses how the energy transition, including the widespread adoption of net zero, will fundamentally reshape the global economy.

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1WRI (May 2020), Water: mapping, measuring and mitigating global water challenges.