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Tariq Fancy, BlackRock Inc.’s former chief investment officer for sustainable investing, found himself at odds with colleagues more focused on marketing sustainable funds than creating investments that have actual climate impact.

Photographer: Galit Rodan/Bloomberg

Corporate Climate Efforts Lack Impact, Say Former Sustainability Executives

They’re speaking out, pushing for more aggressive government policies to address societal problems.

Tariq Fancy’s growing sense of unease and frustration with sustainable investing culminated on a private jet.

The irony wasn’t lost on Fancy, BlackRock Inc.’s former chief investment officer for sustainable investing. He was traveling in Europe in March 2019 when he had a heated exchange with a sales colleague. Fancy and his team had just presented the money manager’s latest low-carbon funds to prospective clients, when one asked what impact those funds had on actually cutting emissions. Battling his own growing doubts on whether they had any effect, Fancy said that if enough of the funds were sold, it would create price signals that would eventually boost costs for high-carbon emitters. That would then prompt those companies to take action on cutting their carbon footprints, he said.