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Texas’ Teacher Pension Fund Divests From Firms “Boycotting” Oil & Gas

Texas, Oil

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During a 2022 hearing, Dalia Blass, senior managing director and head of external affairs of BlackRock’s global executive committee, told Texas lawmakers that BlackRock’s environmental initiatives have not stopped the firm from investing in oil and gas. BlackRock had invested about $107 billion in Texas energy companies in the most recent quarter, Blass said.

Some investment firms have adopted ESG strategies that grade companies on whether they contribute to societal problems like climate change, and some have also created specific investment funds aimed at clients who want to invest into funds that meet certain ESG criteria.

ESG assets in the U.S. accounted for about 13% of the total professionally managed assets last year, worth about $8.4 trillion, according to a report by the US SIF, an industry group representing institutional investors with sustainability investments.

The 10 firms targeted by Texas for divestment are BlackRock Inc.; BNP Paribas SA, a French international banking group; Swiss-based Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS Group AG; Danske Bank A/S, a Danish multinational banking and financial services corporation; London-based Jupiter Fund Management PLC, a fund management group; Nordea Bank ABP, a European financial services group based in Finland; Schroders PLC, a British multinational asset management company; and Swedish banks Svenska Handelsbanken AB and Swedbank AB. The comptroller also identified specific funds with an ESG emphasis that are managed by larger companies for divestment.

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