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This week in responsible investing, a 5th Circuit judge rejected a lawsuit against a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule protecting shareholder climate proposals. Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond fired his outside legal counsel after a highly controversial anti-ESG law was temporarily blocked. New research from Unlocking America’s Future shows how Texas politicians’ extremism is harming the financial future of the state. Much more below!

Polling shows voters are fed up with Textremism.

From UAF’s release: “This new research makes clear that Texas lawmakers are prioritizing politics and the interests of greedy billionaires over the economic security of Texans, threatening the ‘Texas miracle,’” said Kyle Herrig, spokesperson for Unlocking America’s Future. “Texas voters overwhelmingly recognize that the self-serving politicians behind these extreme anti-ESG laws are working on behalf of their billionaire campaign donors. Texans do not support leaders who ignore real issues to push an extreme agenda, and we’re seeing that trend nationally.”

Read more about the new poll in The Hill

The 5th circuit rejected a lawsuit seeking to kill the SEC rule.

From UAF’s statement: “This ruling reinforces what we already know – attacks against responsible investing are a losing issue in the courts and at the ballot box. Adding transparency into the financial ecosystem is good for investors and the economy, especially when it comes to climate risks, investments, and proposals. Self-serving politicians in Texas and other states with well-coordinated campaigns funded by Big Oil can file lawsuit after lawsuit and waste taxpayer resources, but their efforts lack evidence and will ultimately fail.”

Last week, the Austin American-Statesman covered UAF’s new Textremism campaign.

From the article: Unlocking America’s Future began running digital ads over the weekend warning Texans that rules targeting companies with policies known as ESG — for environmental, social and governance — have cost the state nearly $700 million in lost economic activity and have forced leading financial firms to quit doing business in Texas. 

Global peers and competitors are pulling ahead when it comes to responsible investing.

From UAF’s roundup: China, the most polluting country in the world, has been busy in 2024 establishing climate reporting regulations and legislation to create a more supportive environment for investments in green technologies. Canada introduced climate disclosure requirements years ago and is moving on to more graduated policies that support the infrastructure around sustainable investments. The European Commission just this month welcomed new climate reporting guidance to better align with international metrics. Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) has issued a stay on its own climate risk disclosure rule after nine lawsuits were filed against it and states like Oklahoma and Texas are losing hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars for banning responsible investing. 

The Oklahoma Attorney General fired his legal team after multiple blows to his anti-responsible investing law.

From UAF’s ICYMI: Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond fired his outside legal counsel last week after an Oklahoma district court judge temporarily blocked the enforcement of the state’s highly controversial anti-ESG law, the Energy Discrimination Elimination Act (EDEA). The law, which is estimated to cost municipalities $184.7 million in additional expenses in the first 17 months of implementation, placed some of the world’s largest financial institutions on a blacklist for contracts with state agencies and political subdivisions. Drummond blasted State Treasurer Todd Russ for hiring the legal team and blamed the firm for the court’s decision. 

The largest U.S. public pension plan will direct $25 billion to green private market investments.

From the Financial Times: “The reason we have conviction around it, we’re really doing this [is] to generate alpha and outperformance, because we see the investment opportunity set from this really fundamental change in the economy,” said Cashion. “At the same time, it’ll have a side benefit of having a portfolio that has a lower carbon intensity.”

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