The rise of trillion-dollar investment firms like BlackRock has resulted in a massive, unprecedented concentration of economic power. BlackRock’s Larry Fink may use green rhetoric, but his company won’t take real action to address the climate crisis.
Adrienne Buller is a senior research fellow at Common Wealth, leading on the Green New Deal program, and coauthor of Owning the Future: Power and Property in an Age of Crisis (2022).
The Left’s agenda has to include three basic commitments: democratize production, decommodify life’s essentials, and defend the public goods we all hold in common. To do that, we have to transform the very idea of ownership.
Megafirms like BlackRock now play a huge role in shaping investment decisions, yet they’ve attracted remarkably little scrutiny. Despite claims that “passive investing” empowers small investors, the trend is driving a dangerous concentration of economic power.
In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, many hoped it would contain an inadvertent silver lining, in the form of reduced carbon emissions. But the real lesson of the past few months is now clear: we can’t stop global warming without radical systemic change.
The COVID-19 lockdown has resulted in a drastic short-term fall in carbon emissions. Without structural change, however, we’re still on a disastrous trajectory. To avoid calamity, we need to transform our economic system.
Labour’s plan for a Green Industrial Revolution promised to put climate crisis at the heart of Britain’s general election. But the need for radical solutions soon dropped off the agenda — allowing the defining issue of our time to be once again ignored.