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Louisiana to remove $794 million from BlackRock funds over ESG drive

People are seen in front of a showroom that hosts BlackRock in Davos

(Reuters) - Louisiana will pull $794 million out of BlackRock Inc's funds, state Treasurer John Schroder said on Wednesday, citing the asset management giant's push to embrace environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment strategies.

"This divestment is necessary to protect Louisiana from mandates BlackRock has called for that would cripple our critical energy sector," Schroder said in a statement.

The U.S. state has already withdrawn $560 million from the funds to date, he said.

BlackRock did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment.

The company, which managed nearly $8.49 trillion of assets as of June 30, has faced criticism from many sides in the debate on low-carbon fuels.

While environmentalists have protested that the world's largest asset manager does too little to press for change at fossil fuel portfolio companies, Republican politicians have accused it of boycotting energy stocks.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant and Mehr Bedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)