Wall Street also takes sides in defence of the environment

 In Greeninvest

Big finance, with BlackRock in the lead, has made a firm stand. However, the time to act is now: according to the Doomsday Clock designed by Albert Einstein, there are just 100 seconds to total catastrophe

If there were still doubts about the irreversibility of the green choice made by the Western world, the latest news from BlackRock would be enough to wipe them out. The leading investment management house in the world announced that it has raised a whopping 4.8 billion dollars with the final closure of the Global Renewable Power Fund III. Over 100 institutional investors took part in the operation, including major public and private pension funds, insurance companies, foundations and family offices from over 18 countries globally. In short, the “investors that matter” and not small savers.

And when such a strong team decides to set off, there is nothing or no one who can stop its advance. Furthermore, BlackRock has had clear ideas on the subject of sustainability for some time. In 2017, the company that manages assets of $8 trillion (eight times the GDP of Italy) announced that it would gradually exit polluting investments. And since that time, it has acted accordingly: the newly launched fund is the third in the Global Renewable Power series and, in general, the fifth that invests in global climate infrastructure assets, mainly in renewable energy production, in America, Europe and Asia.

Pushing BlackRock and other major financial operators to embrace the battle in defence of the environment there are not only sacrosanct ethical principles, but also attractive returns.

David Giordano, Global Head of BlackRock Renewable Power, has certainly made no secret of the fact that renewable energy has “the potential to generate attractive and stable returns with a low correlation to the economic cycle”.

Beyond the reasons that led BlackRock (and many other big names in finance) to take this stand, we can still breathe a small sigh of relief because, otherwise, environmental disaster would be inevitable. In fact, there is no more time to waste to cancel the effect of human activity. The most effective representation of how close we are to global catastrophe is provided by the NGO Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists which sponsors the Doomsday Clock. Well, according to this very special watch, there are only 100 seconds to go before complete annihilation.

The passage less than two minutes away from the “final disaster”, a judgement that was issued in consultation with the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors which includes 13 Nobel Prize winning scientists, marked the closest point to midnight in its history. To create such a dangerous situation is obviously not only the environmental catastrophe, but also growing geopolitical tensions, the serious crisis triggered by Covid-19 and the increasingly widespread loss of trust in science and institutions.

The Doomsday Clock is obviously a very simplified representation of reality, but ignoring it would be a serious mistake. Behind it is none other than Albert Einstein who in 1945, together with other scientists from the University of Chicago who helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, gave birth to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

As the name suggests, then the fears were linked to a possible nuclear conflict but, although the Cold War is now over, the situation of great risk is not behind us at all. Indeed, it is more relevant than ever.