BlackRock pours investment dollars into the very companies driving the climate crisis like TC Energy, the company behind the notorious Keystone XL pipeline.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 3, 2020 — On Tuesday, March 31, TC Energy announced its decision to move forward with the controversial Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline — despite active legal challenges, a lack of required permits, and without the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous communities along the proposed route. This decision follows the Government of Alberta committing to a USD $1.1 billion direct investment and USD $4.2 billion loan guarantee for the project.
On Thursday, April 2, Citi and JPMorgan Chase led a USD $1.25 billion bond issuance for TC Energy; Mizuho, MUFG and SMBC were among the co-managers. The previous day, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank and TD led a CAD $2 billion bond issuance, with BlackRock as a bond holder.
“BlackRock made a sweeping commitment this January to transform its business model in response to climate change, and the next month announced that one of its fastest-growing sustainable funds would stop investing in tar sands. Yet it continues to pour investment dollars into the very companies driving the climate crisis, like TC Energy, the company behind the notorious Keystone XL pipeline. BlackRock is not a climate leader if it keeps investing in climate destruction and Indigenous rights abuses,” said Moira Birss, Climate and Finance Director with Amazon Watch and a core member of the BlackRock’s Big Problem campaign.
Citing insurer Liberty Mutual’s existing support for Keystone XL via its its provision of a $15.6 million bond to cover risks related to the construction of the pipeline through South Dakota, Elana Sulakshana, Energy Finance Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network, said:
“Keystone XL is the epitome of risk: for Indigenous land rights, waterways, the climate, and now public health. Yet, Liberty Mutual continues to provide crucial insurance coverage for the project’s construction in South Dakota. Rather than exploit the tar sands sector for its last drops of profit and insure projects that threaten the safety of communities and workers along pipeline routes, Liberty Mutual should accelerate a just transition.
“More than 50,000 people are calling on Liberty Mutual to drop its coverage for Keystone XL, rule out insuring and investing in the tar sands sector, and respect Indigenous rights. We expect Liberty Mutual to respond to these concerns at its annual policyholder meeting on April 8.”