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Conservative group supports ESG

Jun 12, 2023

Ramaswamy campaigns in April. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A conservative climate group is supporting the right to use ESG and pushing back on investment bans in a new paper.

Why it matters: Some pro-business Republicans are against efforts to restrict state-backed investors from making environmentally focused capital allocations, a move supported by some red states and presidential aspirant Vivek Ramaswamy.

Driving the news: C3 Solutions, an Arlington-based conservative energy policy outfit, is coming out against bans targeting state-level investments in firms making ESG-based decisions in a paper coming out today that was first shared exclusively with Axios.

  • Nick Loris, C3's vice president of public policy, makes the case in the paper that ESG could "empower investors" and "enable more consumer choice" if it is "not imposed through heavy-handed government intervention."
  • The paper identifies the problem with anti-ESG laws as "reducing choice and enabling states to dictate which banks, contractors and other businesses can and cannot do business with state and local jurisdictions."
  • "[A] more nuanced apprapproach is in order than the current approach of certain states imposing ESG and other states banning it altogether," Loris writes. "Forced divestment, government-nudged shareholder activism, and anti-ESG laws are likely to be ineffective and do more economic and environmental harm than good."

Between the lines: C3 is one of a growing cohort of conservative groups frustrated at the anti-ESG movement for its illiberal leanings on free market choices.

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