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Ask a Scientist: What’s Up With the Attack on ESG Investing?

Officials at the state and federal level have launched a full-court press against what the financial industry calls “environmental, social and governance” (ESG) investing. They are especially squawking about investments that take into account the climate crisis, despite the fact that extreme weather events are wreaking havoc across the country.

Since the summer of 2021, five Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed bills banning their state governments from doing business with financial institutions that they allege have divested from fossil fuel companies as a result of ESG investment policies. Another six statehouses are considering similar bills. At last half of the bills are based on a template provided by the fossil fuel industry-funded American Legislative Exchange Council.

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