On Tuesday, January 14, the New York Times ran a story in its “Dealbook” business section that contained some startling news. Larry Fink, the founder and chief executive officer of the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, announced that his firm would fundamentally shift its investing policy to focus on climate change. The idea is for BlackRock—a firm overseeing $7 trillion in investments—to get out of coal and other fossil fuels, which he called a “high sustainability-related risk.” In fact, said the Times, “His [Fink’s] intent is to encourage every company, not just energy firms, to rethink their carbon footprints.”

In his annual newsletter, Fink went into more detail, saying that BlackRock would introduce new funds that shun fossil fuel-oriented stocks, move aggressively to vote against management teams that are not making progress on sustainability, and press companies to disclose plans “for operating under a scenario where the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees is fully realized.”