GlobeScan’s Analysis of Larry Fink’s 12th Annual Letter to CEOs

ESG/Sustainability Is Dead, Long Live the Pragmatic Energy Transition

For the past few years, the annual Letters of Larry Fink, CEO and Chairman of BlackRock, have been a bellwether of the ESG discussions in the USA. The evolving themes and language used in these Letters have mirrored the changing winds and expectations around ESG, underscoring Larry Fink’s significant influence in shaping the discourse.

While the annual Letters have reflected the maturation and mainstreaming of corporate sustainability in the past decade, last year the focus shifted away from the previous themes of ESG and sustainability in the face of anti-ESG backlash and rising polarization in the USA.

In his 12th annual Letter, Fink continues to avoid any mention of ESG – a term he says has become too divisive – and mentions of climate change continue their downward trend. Instead, the focus of Fink’s Letter is warning of a coming global retirement crisis unless we prepare for the economic reality of an aging population. 

Despite his avoidance of what could be perceived as controversial discussions around ESG, climate change, and sustainability, Fink’s 2024 Letter still acknowledges the unstoppable momentum of the green agenda.

GlobeScan’s recent global public opinion research also shows that most people worldwide recognize the inevitability of a transition to a green economy, shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Our research also indicates a potential friction point: while most people agree on the necessity of a green transition, there is less consensus on the personal benefits of it. This disparity hints at a potential challenge of social acceptance, particularly in Europe and North America.

Read Previous Year’s Analysis