Energy & Environment

Biden eases Trump-era restrictions for financial advisers on ESG

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The Biden administration is making it easier for money managers to consider climate change and other environmental and social factors in retirement investments. 

The Labor Department on Tuesday issued a new final rule making it so that these fiduciaries can consider “the economic effects of climate change” in investments that they oversee.

Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security Lisa Gomez said in a statement that the rule was issued to end a “chilling effect” created by Trump-era restrictions on considering environmental and social factors in investing. 

 “Climate change and other environmental, social and governance factors can be useful for plan investors as they make decisions about how to best grow and protect the retirement savings of America’s workers,” Gomez said. 

In 2020, the Trump administration issued a rule that was expected to discourage the consideration of environmental and social factors in this type of investing. 

Climate and social investing has become a hot topic in Washington and around the country. Republicans have criticized the practice and in some cases have sought to blacklist companies over alleged environmental and social governance investing. 

Meanwhile, environmental activists have pushed for financial institutions to drop fossil fuels from their portfolios. 

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