A new report from several groups shows strong opposition among asset managers, financial advisers and other industry actors to Labor Department plans to restrict sustainable investing — or ESG, for environmental, social, and governance.

Why it matters: The rule has transformed the Labor Department into a battleground over climate (though of course climate is just one part of ESG investing).

The analysis is from Ceres, Morningstar Research Services, the AFL-CIO, Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, Impax Asset Management and others.

Why it matters: The rule has transformed the Labor Department into a battleground over climate (though of course climate is just one part of ESG investing).

Of note: The groups behind the study are active opponents of the rule, not dispassionate observers. But the results track with your Generate host's less rigorous review of the comment docket in recent weeks.

The other side: Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia says there's evidence that "when investments are made to further a particular environmental or social cause, returns unsurprisingly suffer."

  • But the report is the latest analysis to dispute this and argues the expert input in the comment docket makes their case.
  • The Labor Department "has not shown that a problem exists that is in need of regulatory action, either that plan fiduciaries have been inappropriately selecting ESG investments or that ESG-focused funds have given up returns in exchange for 'non-pecuniary' benefits," it concludes.

Go deeper: The stage is set for a battle on sustainable investing

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Sep 19, 2020 - Energy & Environment
Column / Harder Line

Big Tech takes the climate change lead

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photo: Jit Chattopadhyay/Pacific Press/LightRocket

The tech industry is playing a growing role in fighting climate change, from zero-carbon commitments to investments in startups and pushing for the use of data to encourage energy efficiency.

Why it matters: Big Tech is already dominating our economy, politics and culture. Its leadership in helping to address climate change — and reckon with its role in contributing to it — could have similarly transformative impacts.

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Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election, meaning that two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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