News Release: Labor Department Rule Deals New Blow to Sustainable Investing


Jan. 12, 2021

Carter Dougherty
(202) 251-6700

Labor Department Rule Deals New Blow to Sustainable Investing

The Department of Labor today dealt another blow to sustainable investing and put the interests of poorly performing sectors and companies above the security of Americans’ retirement savings. A new rule, which takes effect today, suggests that private retirement plan fiduciaries may face additional scrutiny if they choose to invest in sustainable companies and funds, and exclude climate polluters and other risky companies from their investment portfolios.

“This rule is the latest in a string of eleventh hour moves meant to ensure that fossil fuel companies, and other sectors with harmful environmental and social impact, continue to receive unwarranted funding despite declining performance and profits,” said Alex Martin, senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform.

The Trump DOL, led by industry friends Eugene Scalia and Alex Acosta, has consistently undermined worker benefits and rights by promoting rules that discourage responsible investing in private retirement plans.

In the coming months, Labor Secretary nominee Marty Walsh, if confirmed, must begin the important work of rebuilding the DOL and setting an agenda that furthers its mission to protect workers and retirees. DOL must quickly reverse course and provide clear guidance for how fiduciaries must consider material environmental, social, and governance risks and opportunities in their retirement portfolios.