Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund (AFREF) applauds the Labor Department for issuing this proposal to better allow and encourage retirement plans and pensions to consider sustainability factors like workers’ rights, racial justice, corporate governance, and climate change when investing.
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund and Public Citizen were joined by 60 organizations and securities law experts in a comment letter to the SEC calling for mandatory climate and ESG disclosures for all issuers.
“Investors know that climate change is a threat that some companies aren’t taking seriously enough. They need information that lets them better understand climate risks and opportunities to see who they can trust to thrive in a low-carbon future economy.”
–Alex Martin, Senior Policy Analyst, Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund
“The nonprofits Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform have released an early copy of their new “roadmap” for climate-finance reform to The Weekly Planet. It’s a guide to what the new executive branch might do to shift the flows of capital toward greener investments.”
“Not that this will be easy. Yesterday, Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, wrote a letter to the San Francisco Fed implying that it should stop researching “climate economics,” labeling the topic “bitterly partisan.” He’s not wrong—climate change is bitterly partisan. But all of the country’s largest banks have issued climate policies nevertheless. And if it is partisan, that is because partisans fought greenhouse-gas regulation for so long that climate change has become a costly and whole-of-society issue. The financial system is where those costs come to roost. Any big problem, ignored for long enough, becomes a financial issue.”
In a significant reversal, the Department of Labor (DOL) today announced they will not enforce the anti-sustainable investing rules that were hastily published in the final days of the Trump administration. The two rules, which went into effect in January 2021, would have made it much harder for retirement plans to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks into their investment practices.
The Department of Labor today dealt another blow to sustainable investing with a new rule aimed at private retirement plan fiduciaries. Incoming leadership at DOL must quickly reverse course on this rule and facilitate, rather than hinder, responsible retirement investing.