States push back against blacklisting climate-friendly banks – The Washington Post

Across the country, the battle rages over sustainable investing, with more than $500 billion pouring into climate and socially conscious investments in 2021, according to JPMorgan Chase.

Conservative groups have sought to use public pension plans and state and local bond offerings to freeze out selected financial institutions. Those groups say they are simply trying to counter the injection of “woke” values into Wall Street investment decisions.But big banks and asset managers supportive of ESG — including BlackRock, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and State Street — say their strategies are being mischaracterized amid the larger culture wars of the day. They say it makes financial sense to factor climate risks and other societal concerns into investment strategies.

More and more, big and small banks are winning that argument on the state level, despite a national effort by conservative dark money groups — nonprofits that don’t have to disclose their donors — to blacklist climate-friendly businesses.

Many of these state laws were inspired by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group that draws up model legislation for state legislators. But ALEC said its board had recently withdrawn its prototype and sent it back to its energy task force “for further discussion.” The initial version, the Eliminate Economic Boycotts Act, would have required states to stop doing business with companies deemed to be “boycotting” loans or investments in fossil fuel or firearms industries.

States push back against blacklisting climate-friendly banks – The Washington Post

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