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Oil-friendly states fight back against sustainable investment trend

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Climate and shareholder activists are leading a growing movement for investors to put their money only in companies with sustainable business practices, a standard that considers how a company is run, the working conditions in its supply chain and its effect on climate change.

But lawmakers in some energy-producing states are not only pushing back — they’re proposing the exact opposite.

In Alaska, North Dakota, Texas and other energy-producing states where fossil fuel taxes support state budgets, some lawmakers are introducing legislation that would force states to stop investing in companies that use sustainable strategies to make financial decisions and to cut ties with asset managers, banks and insurers that are doing the same. 300×250 image ad The mostly GOP lawmakers argue that investment decisions should be made solely based on the likely financial returns, not so-called ESG — the environmental, social and governance criteria that socially conscious investors use. Instead of embracing ESG, several states want to double down on investments in oil, gas and coal. Otherwise, they say, the very industries they depend on face collapse.

It’s already difficult for fossil fuel projects to find insurance, financing and other backing if they don’t meet some of the sustainability standards, said […]

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