AUM in Action

Investors Push US Congress on Anti-ESG State Legislation 

A coalition of 300 investors, collectively managing US$4 trillion in assets, has sent a letter to both houses of the US Congress urging them to oppose moves to block ESG investing. It comes as two senior Republican lawmakers who want to keep European Union ESG measures from gaining traction in the US are reportedly asking the Biden administration for details on coordination efforts. The letter to Congress, coordinated by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), notes a marked increase in proposed state legislation across 37 states that would prohibit state and municipal pension funds from implementing ESG investing strategies or using asset managers that do so. The letter also references studies demonstrating that these proposed bills could cause financial harm to pension beneficiaries and taxpayers. In related news, US Senators Tim Scott and James Comer have sent letters to the US Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission over concerns that EU ESG rules are outpacing US regulators’ efforts, meaning the EU could become an ESG standard-setter. They say in the letter: “We are deeply concerned that US agencies under the Biden administration are either passively allowing a foreign body to regulate American companies or are wilfully circumventing the US regulatory process by actively coordinating with foreign governments to dictate climate and economic policy to US companies.” 


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