Federal Court Dismisses Derivative Complaint Seeking to Impose ESG Initiatives on a Public Company

In the past year, there has been a concerted effort by certain plaintiff firms to weaponize environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) principles to attack corporate boards. On March 19, 2021, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in Ocegueda v. Zuckerberg, Ca. No. 3:20-cv-04444-LB (N.D. Cal. Mar. 19, 2021), struck a blow against these efforts by…

The Growing Perils of Corporate Political Involvement

Corporations are having a tough time navigating the pressure from all sides on political statements, including campaign contributions, as it is increasingly difficult to avoid offending a substantial number of customers, employees, or investors. Judd Legum continues to track corporate promises — and broken promises — about political contributions. And a number of other articles…

The Powerful New Financial Argument for Fossil-Fuel Divestment | The New Yorker

In a few months, a small British financial think tank will mark the tenth anniversary of the publication of a landmark research report that helped launch the global fossil-fuel-divestment movement. As that celebration takes place, another seminal report—this one obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from the world’s largest investment house—closes the loop on one…

Toomey Presses SEC on New Climate Enforcement Task Force | United States Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

U.S. Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) wants more information from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about its recently announced climate and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) enforcement task force. In a letter to Acting Chair Allison Herren Lee, Senator Toomey wrote: “These announcements appear to presage major changes in longstanding…

ESGs, sustainable investing are not as green as touted, investor says

Tariq Fancy has some dire warnings about the disconnect between ESG rhetoric and reality in USA Today, concluding, “We’re running out of time and need to accept the truth: To fix our system and curb a growing disaster, we need government to fix the rules.” The financial services industry is duping the American public with…

ESG Metrics in Incentive Compensation

Pay Governance has a new report on ESG metrics in incentive compensation. The full report is below. Highlights: In 2020, 22% of survey respondent companies indicated they included ESG metrics in their incentive compensation plans; for 2021, 29% of companies reported they have incorporated ESG metrics in their incentive plans while 21% of companies indicated…

Happy SFDR reporting day! The EU Action Plan isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we’ve got, and we must back it vigorously

Responsible Investor’s Hugh Wheelan writes: [T]he tipping points for the huge ESG shift we are witnessing are the regulatory drivers of The EU Green Deal and Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth. They are two blockbuster regional policy drivers that will have global ‘translation effects’ for all companies and investors; public or private, amplified rapidly…

​U.S. SEC: Environmental, Social, and Governance Risks Better Be on Your Radar

Organizations are under increasing pressure from shareholders, regulators, and other key stakeholders to report on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. The movement to accurately measure and report the impacts that organizations have on the environment, climate, natural resources, workforce, and community (and their related ethical implications) is rapidly changing how the public inte racts…