BlackRock Is Quitting Coal, but the World Can’t, Peabody Energy Says
Wednesday, January 15th, 2020
The world will require coal for decades, and divestment isn’t the answer, a senior Peabody Energy executive said after asset manager BlackRock made a stunning move to withdraw from coal assets in its actively managed funds.
“The world will continue to use large amounts of coal for many decades to come, and will continue to need responsible coal companies far into the future,” Stephanie Weiler, Peabody’s senior manager of ESG (environmental, social, and governance factors) and investor relations, said in a statement. “We believe constructive engagement is the answer, as opposed to broad divestment that fails to differentiate among public coal companies with strong ESG practices.”Peabody shares (ticker: BTU) were up 1.7%, at $9.20, in recent trading. The S&P 500 index was flat.
Earlier Tuesday, BlackRock (BLK) CEO Larry Fink said the investment manager, with $1.8 trillion in assets, would exit coal shares in its actively managed funds and announced a dramatic expansion of its sustainable investing lineup.
Specifically, the firm will divest approximately $500 million in debt and equities of companies that generate more than a quarter of their revenue from thermal coal production. BlackRock is reportedly the asset manager with the world’s largest holdings in thermal coal.