Louisiana attorney general launches ESG investigation

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) launched an investigation on April 25 into Climate Action 100+, which describes itself as “an investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change.” Landry’s office says the investigation seeks to determine whether some asset management companies that are part of the initiative have violated their fiduciary duties by focusing on ESG investment factors. According to the Washington Examiner:

“Landry’s office on Tuesday announced a ‘multi-pronged’ effort focusing on the Climate Action 100+ Steering Committee, specifically scrutinizing Franklin Templeton and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. The investigation will look into whether the groups breached their obligations to investors by prioritizing climate initiatives. …

“‘ESG investing puts politics over people and raises significant concerns that companies guided by these green-energy fantasies may be engaging in unfair and deceptive practices that harm Louisiana consumers,’ Landry said, according to the Washington Times. ‘Franklin Templeton is deeply embedded in Climate Action 100+; and we are troubled that, by focusing on the radical ESG agenda, it may be violating its fiduciary duties to shareholders in our state.’ …

“Franklin Templeton has some $1.5 trillion in assets under management, while CalPERS, the country’s largest public pension fund, had more than $440 billion in assets under management as of last year.

“Last year, congressional Republicans, led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), sent a letter sent to executives of the steering committee for Climate Action 100+ demanding documents that show the group’s network of influence. In the letter, they said the coalition ‘seems to work like a cartel to ‘ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change.’’”

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