A big PR fight coming over ESG
For a while there ESG was going to save the world. The shift to investments that were environmentally, socially and governance friendly would stop climate change and make us richer.
It was a brilliant PR story well sold, but is lately looking rather bruised by, well, events.
In the Mail on Sunday this week Nigel Farage called for another referendum, this time on the drive to net zero.
“The political class in Westminster”, has taken the country down “a ruinous path” by committing to net zero without discussing what it might cost the public.
Even if you think Farage is an awful windbag, he does win sometimes, once rather stunningly and against all of that political class’s assumptions.
More authoritatively, in The Sunday Times Ollie Shah writes: Putin’s war on Ukraine exposes the folly of ESG.
Given that Putin is nuts, we plainly need to invest in nuclear weapons, nuclear power and dirty energy (I paraphrase).
It is difficult to put the “cowardice and idiocy” of ESG into words, he writes, though he has had a pretty good go.
Back at the MoS, Jeff Prestridge exposes “The fund bosses who put YOUR cash in Russia.”
As he points out, an investor might not have realised quite where her money was going from the name or the marketing of those funds.
(Their performance lately is, erm, not good.)
There is a massive PR fight coming about where our pension money and other savings should go.
Should it protect us from evil dictators? Or provide clean energy? Which side are you on?
Half of retail investors plan to switch their investments into ESG funds this year, says this from Oxford Risk.
That comes just as the whole ESG movement is coming under pressure.
Greg B Davies reckons: “It is clearly good news that retail investors are engaging with their investments and making positive decisions.”
Sure. But will it make them richer?