BlackRock, the world’s biggest money manager, made headlines early this year when it pledged to prioritize climate change in its investments and pare down its coal holdings.

But environmentalists say the company has failed to make good on this promise in a series of shareholder proposals at annual meetings this year.

Led by influential Wall Street player Larry Fink and overseeing some $7.3 trillion in assets, BlackRock in January vowed to take action to address climate change and sustainable development, raising the hopes of environmentalists.

“We applauded BlackRock for its statement at the beginning of this year…. and we acknowledge that they have taken some steps in that direction,” said Ben Cushing, who leads the Sierra Club’s financial advocacy campaign.

“But clearly it has not translated into fast-enough, or bold-enough action.”

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink leads the world's biggest money manager, which has defended its record of pushing for greener policies in corporations BlackRock CEO Larry Fink leads the world’s biggest money manager, which has defended its record of pushing for greener policies in corporations Photo: AFP / Ludovic MARIN

Part of the skepticism comes from BlackRock’s response to shareholder proposals to require companies to take action on the environment.

BlackRock supported only 13 percent of the green-oriented resolutions in 2020, down from 20 percent in 2019, according to Proxy Insight, which tracks global shareholder voting.

A September report from non-governmental organization Majority Action said the New York financial giant backed only three of 36 resolutions on climate change in proxy votes of S&P 500 companies.

And though BlackRock signed on to Climate Action 100+, a global investor engagement initiative, the company supported just two of 12 resolutions presented by the coalition.

BlackRock holds shares in numerous large companies, including Apple, Facebook and Exxon Mobil, as well as ConocoPhillips and Nike.

Cushing said BlackRock could make a big difference if its actions match its rhetoric.

BlackRock has been criticized for not living up to its rhetoric on the environment BlackRock has been criticized for not living

The Arizona Court of Appeals’ decision to lift a ban that opens the door for “dark money” contributions to political races will increase the risk of corruption in the state’s politics, according to watchdog groups.

The ruling reinstated a 2017 law in which the Republican-led legislature allowed any group that the IRS classified as a nonprofit not to disclose its donors, regardless of whether the voter-created Citizens Clean Elections Commission approved. Organizations aren’t disqualified under the law even if they use funding to elect or oust candidates.

DEMOCRATIC SENATE CONTENDER MARK KELLY SAYS 2020 WINNER SHOULD MAKE SUPREME COURT PICK

The ruling essentially defangs the commission, which voters set up up to determine whether an organization was really a charity or a political action committee (PAC) and thus required to disclose its donors.

Political parties will now be able to spend unlimited amounts on behalf of their candidates without disclosure, and individuals and special interests can pay the legal fees of candidates without the expenditures counting against mandated caps on financial aid.

Nonetheless, included in Tuesday’s decision was what Tuscon.com called a “key victory” for challenger Arizona Advocacy Network.

The appellate court judges said GOP lawmakers did not have a right to limit the Clean Elections Commission’s regulations to only independent expenditures made on behalf of candidates who are accepting public financing.

That qualifier preserves the right of the commission to require disclosure of all money spent on candidates, even if it can no longer force reporting of the original source.

While the Arizona Advocacy Network appreciates the court’s recognition of the role the commission plays in protecting democracy, the ruling “also gave the seal of approval to various legal loopholes created by the Arizona legislature for the sake of allowing unlimited amounts of corporate money to flow into our