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Is freakonomics owned by big oil now or something?

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on CleanTechnica or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The recent episode of the Freakonomics podcast delved into Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing, however, the episode's approach raised eyebrows as it seemed to lack depth and critical analysis
• The host appeared unfamiliar with the subject and posed non-challenging questions to a single economist

🔭 The context: The podcast's approach to ESG investing was juxtaposed with the historical influence of fossil fuel billionaires, such as the Koch brothers, on thought leadership and public opinion
• These billionaires have been known to influence academic institutions and public discourse to align with their interests

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The episode highlighted an argument that the top 20% of polluting companies, termed "brown" companies, would face higher financing costs due to ESG investing
• While this is seen as a positive incentive for these companies to adopt greener practices, the economist on the show argued that this could deter them from investing in eco-friendly technologies

⏭️ What's next: The article criticizes the notion that investing in major polluters like Exxon would lead to them adopting greener practices
• It points out that Exxon, despite its massive profits, has historically prioritized oil production and has spent significantly on misleading the public about climate change

💬 One quote: "The number of head-smacking moments in the podcast overwhelmed me and I had to turn the show off" (Scott Cooney, founder CleanTechnica)

📈 One stat: Exxon reported a profit of $55 billion in the previous year, yet has consistently prioritized oil production over climate tech investments

Click for more news covering the latest on sustainable finance

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