The chief execuive of US multi-national investment group BlackRock says it will continue to support the oil and gas industry as part of a low-carbon energy transition.

Larry Fink recognised the role of hydrocarbons in the transition, stating that "different countries and industries will move at different speeds, and oil and gas will play a vital role in meeting global energy demands through that journey".

His business would "work with energy companies globally that are essential in meeting societies' energy needs" and this would include fossil fuel and natural gas companies, provided they are taking steps to mitigate their emissions.

Last June, BlackRock's boss warned it would not act as "the environmental police" in the latest sign the world's largest money manager was shying away from green activism.

Mr Fink said it was wrong to ask the private sector to ensure that the companies they invested in were doing their part to combat climate change.

He commented: "I don't want to be the environmental police."

Significant stakes

BlackRock manages trillions of dollars-worth of assets, giving it significant stakes and influence in many of the world's largest businesses.

Mr Fink's comments last summer represented a significant U-turn for BlackRock which had been at the forefront of Wall Street's push to focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.

It came shortly after the firm said it would vote against most shareholder resolutions on climate change they were too extreme.

The company said it was concerned about proposals to stop financing fossil-fuel companies, including forcing them to decommission assets and setting absolute targets for reducing emissions in their supply chains.

In January 2020, Mr Fink had stated that "climate risk is investment risk" as he positioned BlackRock as a leader in ESG investing. He also warned that climate change posed the biggest ever risk to financial markets.

  • There was a fresh warning from the oil industry just a few weeks ago that cutting fossil-fuel supplies too quickly risks a new surge in energy prices.

BP chief executive Bernard Looney said that supply and demand needed to fall at the same pace to lessen the risk of economic volatility.

He called for a cautious approach to avoid a repeat of the rapid upward movement in oil and gas prices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

BP is investing heavily in renewable energy as it starts to diversify from oil and gas and cut its carbon emissions.

However, in February it dialled back on targets to reduce oil and gas production by 40% by 2030, saying it will now only cut by 25%.

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