By Ross Kerber and Matthew Green
BOSTON/LONDON (Reuters) – Five Democratic U.S. senators on Thursday asked BlackRock Inc
to justify why it rarely supported shareholder resolutions tied to climate change issues despite its increased focus on the environment this year.
The proxy voting record of the top asset manager is “troubling and inconsistent,” according to a letter sent to Reuters by the office of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii and signed by four others.
In a statement sent by a spokesman, BlackRock said its work on behalf of clients includes both voting and engagement, or talks with corporate managers. It cited certain negative proxy votes cast this year and noted the company now more often publishes details about votes.
“We are currently reviewing our engagement priorities and voting guidelines,” BlackRock said.
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink in January had vowed to press companies to do more to combat climate change,