This week, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink cited widespread investor concern and September’s global climate strike as reasons to move toward a climate-conscious investment strategy.

To be clear, that’s the manager of world’s largest pool of assets responding to individual action – and it’s a big deal. It’s something tangible to point to and say, “If we demand change with our personal actions, policy and industry will respond.”

Calculating the environmental impact of your everyday actions gets exhausting – especially when the benefits of doing so aren’t always apparent. That’s why we take time each week to highlight examples of individual choices spurring large-scale climate action.

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink Puts Climate Change at Center of Megafund’s Investment Strategy

By Annie Massa and Bloomberg in Fortune, January 14, 2020

  • In his annual letter, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink announced the company would put climate at the heart of its investment strategy and move away from investments with “high sustainability-related risk” such as coal.
  • Fink cited investor concerns, climate research, and September’s climate march as a driver of the shift. “The evidence on climate risk is compelling investors to reassess core assumptions about modern finance,” Fink said. The word ‘climate’ appeared in his letter 29 times.
  • BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with more than $7 trillion in assets including fossil fuels and state pension funds.

At the 7th Democratic debate, candidates took every opportunity to talk climate

By Zoya Teirstein in Grist, January 15, 2020

  • Climate change was a hit and miss topic at the first six Democratic debates, but had a significant presence at Tuesday’s debate in Iowa. Six presidential candidates – Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer – tossed around ideas and plans for confronting the crisis.
  • Even before a prompt from the moderators, climate change was brought up in trade and national security discussions. Bernie Sanders made waves when moderator Brianne Pfannenstiel asked him to “stay on trade,” to which he responded: “They are the same issue.”
  • In response to a rare climate change prompt, the candidates laid out solutions that were all over the board.
  • In Emeraldology’s words: Klobuchar attacked methane and proposed using natural gas as a bridge fuel in the same breath. Steyer said he would declare climate emergency on day one. Sanders pushed the Green New Deal. Biden brought up a bill he introduced in 1996. Warren plan’s was the planniest of all plans. And Buttigieg dodged a question about what he would do for Iowa farmers facing climate challenges.

Taco Bell wants compostable, recyclable packaging by 2025

By Lauren Stine in Restaurant Dive, January 13, 2020

  • Taco Bell pledged to make “any material that comes into contact with the consumer” recyclable, compostable, or resuable at worldwide locations by 2025. The new packaging would also be free of “PFAS, Phthalates and BPA.”
  • Taco Bell and sister companies KFC and Pizza Hut are part of the NextGen Consortium – “a group of companies researching packaging alternatives.”
  • The pledge comes cited reports that nearly “half of consumers seem to consider the sustainability of their dining choices,” and “about one-third think QSRs are doing a good job of labeling items for proper disposal.”

Did a particular news story or event encourage you to live Earth-friendly this week? Share it in the comments below!

Feature photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.