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.

Sarah Melvin, Head of UK and Ireland, BlackRock

Hello and welcome to BlackRock. I'm Sarah Melvin, Head of UK and Ireland. We've been operating and investing money on behalf of our clients in the UK for more than five decades. We have more than 3,000 employees across the UK and Ireland, and we are entrusted to manage the savings of over ten million people here. Our clients include pension schemes and their members, insurance companies, charities, and individuals saving for retirement. We invest on behalf of our clients, putting almost 200 billion pounds of their capital to work in local British companies and infrastructure. Which in turn supports job creation and a stronger UK economy. We're proud to play our part in supporting economic prosperity here. And as our clients increasingly want to invest to deliver a more sustainable future, we've invested over 20 billion pounds in sustainable infrastructure projects across the UK, including wind farms and solar power which go on to power 1.8 million homes each year. In January 2020, we published a letter setting out our ambitions for Black Rock to play a leadership role as a sustainable investor for our clients. I'm delighted to say that since then, we've delivered some good progress. Just a few of the highlights include that today, all of our active and advisory strategies are ESG integrated, covering 2 trillion pounds in assets. We introduced 93 new sustainable solutions in 2020, helping clients allocate billions of pounds to sustainable investment strategies over the year. And we've added 1,200 sustainability metrics to our technology platform, to help clients better understand ESG and physical climate risks. Now in 2021 we're pushing ahead once again. We have announced a set of actions that we're taking to help move our clients portfolios and the UK and global economy, towards the crucial target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The net zero transition is an imperative for society and for the planet. And it will reshape the global economy offering a number of exciting investment opportunities. This is an important moment for us all. Whether you're an existing or prospective client, a possible future colleague, a business partner, or just an interested member of society, welcome to BlackRock.

Unless otherwise stated, all data is sourced from BlackRock as at December 2020.

Investing sustainably for our clients

Watch Sarah Melvin, Head of UK and Ireland, share the progress that BlackRock is making in the UK to help our clients invest in a better, more sustainable future.

About BlackRock in UK
We’ve been in the UK and investing money on behalf of our UK clients for more than five decades.1 Our goal is simple – we want to help more and more people experience financial well-being.
A bird's eye view of a car driving along a winding road, surrounded by forest

Our net zero commitment

Learn how we’re helping clients navigate this transformation.

*Capital at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

1Source: BlackRock as of 26th January 2021