Category Archives: ESG

Finding the Path to a Necessary Future: CARB Chair Liane Randolph and ELI President Jordan Diamond Share Their Vision for California, Climate, and Energy in the Coming Decades

Join the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Environmental Law Institute (ELI), Foley Hoag LLP, and Baker Botts LLP for an intimate discussion with CARB Chair Liane Randolph and ELI President Jordan Diamond, two leaders in the field of environmental law and policy.  Both are tackling significant and pressing environmental and public health challenges from different perspectives. Our moderator will lead a conversation about how these two women got to this distinguished point in their careers,… More

Three Takeaways from the SEC’s New Proposed Rules on Climate Disclosures

Today, the Securities & Exchange Commission voted 3 to 1 in favor of adopting a long-awaited set of proposed revisions to SEC regulations concerning the disclosure of climate risks and related financial impacts, as well as data on greenhouse gas emissions in certain SEC filings. The recommendation to adopt the new set of rules was not unanimous, with Commissioner Hester Peirce voting against the measure, arguing that the new set of rules is at best unnecessary,… More

AIG Integrates Climate Into Its Investment and Underwriting Decisions: It’s Progress, But Is It Enough?

Last week, AIG significantly restricted its underwriting of and investment in fossil fuel projects.  Specifically, it announced the following actions:

  • With immediate effect, committed to no longer invest in or provide insurance for construction of any new coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines or oil sands;
  • With immediate effect, committed to no longer invest in or underwrite new operation insurance risks of coal-fired power plants,…
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Shareholder Activism or Divestment? The Massachusetts Pension Fund Chooses Activism

The Boston Globe reported yesterday that the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board approved investment guidelines that would have the Board vote against directors of companies in which the Board invests where the company does not have a plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

As the Globe notes, there is something of a debate among climate activists whether it is better to support divestment or the kind of activism represented by the Board’s action yesterday. … More

2021 Marked by SEC Focus on Climate-related Disclosures

With the third quarter coming to a close and year-end reporting just around the corner, public companies should be giving careful thought to the evolving landscape for climate-related disclosures. While it did not promulgate any new rules in 2021 regarding these disclosures, the SEC has been actively commenting on climate change disclosures, and new rules are almost certainly on the way.

Since 2010, the SEC has made clear that its existing disclosure regime requires issuers to assess and,… More

Will More Money Managers Start Voting Shares Based on Climate Issues? Fidelity International Gets in the Game

In the wake of Engine No.1’s successful effort to elect more climate-friendly directors at Exxon and the increasingly aggressive action by BlackRock to take climate into account in its investment management decisions, the whole world is watching for further evidence of capitalism’s efforts to save the world from, well, capitalism.

The latest news is from Fidelity International (not to be confused with Fidelity Management and Research),… More

Massachusetts Claims Against ExxonMobil Survive — Wave of the Future or Litigation Sideshow?

This week, Judge Karen Green denied Exxon Mobil’s motion to dismiss claims brought by Massachusetts under its Consumer Protection Act. The complaint alleges that Exxon Mobil both mislead Massachusetts investors in its marketing to them of Exxon Mobil securities and mislead Massachusetts consumers in its marketing of its products to those consumers.  Judge Green rejected Exxon Mobil’s arguments that it was not subject to jurisdiction in Massachusetts with respect to these claims. … More

President Biden’s “Climate-Related Financial Risk” Executive Order Pushes Forward on the Administration’s ESG Commitments

On May 20, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order to address predicted financial instability in the federal government as a result of climate change. This Executive Order showcases a dramatic change in how the Biden Administration’s stance towards climate-finance and environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-based investments will differ from the previous administration.

The Executive Order, titled “Climate-Related Financial Risk” seeks to “bolster the resilience of our rural and urban communities,… More