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Florida Pension Investments Will Prioritise Profit, Not ESG – DeSantis

Ron DeSantis, Governor of the US state of Florida, has passed a resolution which directs the state’s fund managers to invest in a way which “prioritises the highest return on investment” without consideration for the “ideological agenda of the ESG movement”. The resolution specifies that investment decisions “must be based only on pecuniary factors [which] do not include the consideration of the furtherance of social, political, or ideological interests”. It also stipulates that Florida’s State Board Authority “may not sacrifice investment return or take on additional investment risk to promote any non-pecuniary factors” when making investments or proxy votes. This is the latest example in a wider trend of anti-ESG policies in state treasury and financial departments across Republican-run states. In addition to Florida, states including Texas, West Virginia, Idaho, Oklahoma are considering or have implemented policies which penalise investors, banks and pension funds that take account of ESG risks and impacts in their lending and investing decisions. Mindy Lubber, CEO and President of sustainability non-profit Ceres, said: “At the heart of this attack lies a blatant fiction. These state officials would have you believe that drought, crop failure, weakened infrastructure and worsening public health don’t stand as serious financial threats to business interests and our economy at large.” 

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