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This week in responsible investing, the SEC announced it would stay the implementation of its new climate risk disclosure rule due to pending litigation; Unlocking America’s Future expanded its ad campaign to Washington and Texas in an effort to protect the SEC rule; and the CEO of a pro-ESG organization was forced to testify in front of Congress due to meritless political attacks, and much more.

Unlocking America’s Future released a statement after the SEC announced it was halting implementation of new climate risk disclosure rules due to pending lawsuits.

From UAF’s statement: “It is outrageous that billionaires and their lackeys like Leonard Leo are trying to endanger retirement savings, businesses, and jobs by hiding financial risks from working Americans and investors — all to pad their own pockets and the bank accounts of oil and gas companies. We encourage the SEC, Congress, and the courts to say NO to billionaires protecting the status quo and YES to the working Americans who need the protections of the climate risk disclosure rule.”

UAF released ads in Texas and Washington urging Americans to tell Congress to support the SEC rules.

From the release: “Some members of Congress who have taken millions of dollars in campaign contributions from Big Oil are engaging in a coordinated effort to kill the rule through the Congressional Review Act, despite the rules’ many benefits across the financial system and for Americans trying to save for retirement.”

A Fordham University professor wrote an analysis showing that laws similar to the SEC climate risk disclosure rule are already in place in the EU.

From the op-ed: For example, EU law already requires all large and listed companies to disclose what they see as risks and opportunities that arise from social and environmental issues, along with the impact of their own activities on people and the environment, as part of European Green Deal. And investors are demanding this information, so these new rules shouldn’t come as a surprise. In some cases, the rules are even more extensive than what the SEC has proffered. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer published UAF spokesperson Kyle Herrig’s letter to the editor on Bucks County’s landmark lawsuit against an oil company.

From the LTEAs a result of backdoor lobbying from Big Oil, Texas has soured its reputation as a business-first state, with bans on responsible investing that may cost taxpayers billions of dollars. We commend Bucks County for taking a stand and ensuring Pennsylvania doesn’t become Texas.

The CEO of As You Sow, Andrew Behar, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee and defended responsible investing.

From an interview with Democracy Now! after the hearing: “What we’re saying is, ‘We need the freedom to invest.’ Like, they’re trying to suppress our freedom to be able to make logical, good business choices. And in doing so, at the state level, they’re harming their own citizens.” 

Tom Steyer penned an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee making the case for climate disclosure laws.

From the op-ed: Despite complaints and threats of lawsuits from some of America’s biggest emitters, these new rules are actually great for business … Companies that collect emissions data and connect it back to their overall strategy perform better.

A new Deloitte/Tufts survey showed that 80% of global investors have sustainable investment policies in place.

From ESG Today: The vast majority of professional investors globally have put in place ESG investment policies over the past several years, with investors looking both to minimize sustainability-related risk and capitalize on opportunities, and citing factors including regulatory requirements, improved performance and talent attraction, according to a new study released by global professional services firm Deloitte and The Fletcher School at Tufts University.

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