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DealBook: BlackRock Puts Climate Change Center Stage

DealBook: BlackRock Puts Climate Change Center Stage
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In an exclusive interview with Andrew, the money management giant’s chief, Larry Fink, discussed his decision to make climate change a focus of BlackRock’s investment strategy. The shift could reshape how Wall Street invests.

What BlackRock will do, according to Mr. Fink’s latest letter to C.E.O.s:

• Exit certain investments that have a “high sustainability-related risk” — but not all, since fossil fuels remain central to the global economy.

• Start to press corporate managers on their environmental goals, including leaning on companies to adhere to the Paris climate accord’s targets.

• Introduce more funds that avoid stocks related to fossil fuels.

“This is a much more structural, long-term crisis,” Mr. Fink writes in the letter. He said he had come to that conclusion after talking with business leaders and scientists and having BlackRock model the economic effects of climate change.

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The Trump administration took another step yesterday to prepare for the signing of a U.S.-China trade agreement this week. But like other measures in the proposed deal, it’s unlikely to lead to long-lasting change.

The Treasury Department said that China was no longer a currency manipulator, shedding a designation made last August in the depths of the trade fight. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the move had come after Beijing agreed not to devalue its renminbi for competitive reasons.

Fact check: The renminbi actually rose for most of last year, with China allowing market forces to influence its value. And Beijing propped up the currency at points to prevent it from falling too far.

It’s another step toward a deal that falls short of what either side wanted. The U.S. didn’t force greater liberalization of China’s markets, and tariffs remain on $370 billion worth of Chinese exports. (The WSJ has a deep dive into the monthslong negotiations.)

Now the U.S. will turn its attention to another trade fight that it started, this time with the E.U. The political bloc’s new trade chief, Phil Hogan, arrived in Washington yesterday for meetings — and Europe hopes his blunt style will help in dealing with the White House.

American officials reportedly warned their British counterparts that any sharing of intelligence would be at risk if Britain used Huawei technology in its 5G wireless network, Dan Sabbagh of The Guardian writes.

• A U.S. delegation “presented an incendiary dossier they said featured new evidence of the security risks of relying on Huawei technology in future phone networks,” Mr. Sabbagh writes.

• The campaign comes after Britain said it would allow nonessential Huawei equipment, like antennas and phone masts, into the next-generation wireless network.

• Giving the Chinese company that sort of access would be “nothing short of madness,” U.S. officials reportedly said.

• They added that Congress and President Trump would evaluate intelligence sharing if Britain moved ahead.

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