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The SEC's new rule may inadvertently kill ESG funds

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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 Forbes or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the News: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) unveils a new rule stipulating that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) funds must have 80% alignment with their proclaimed objectives
• The revelation might expose that to stay competitive, ESG funds incorporate more lucrative, non-green investments, challenging the authenticity of their environmental claims

🔭 The Context: The rise of ESG, with its emphasis on sustainability and social issues, has gained global momentum, particularly in efforts to meet the Paris Accords' net-zero targets
• This expansion has led to the development of sustainable reporting standards like the European Sustainability Reporting Standards and expected comparable standards from the SEC, to combat greenwashing and maintain transparency in environmental initiatives

🌍 Why it Matters for the Planet: This regulation is pivotal for environmental integrity, aiming to curtail greenwashing and ensure that ESG funds are genuinely contributing to sustainability goals
• The enforcement of alignment between funds’ stated goals and actual portfolios aids in holding funds accountable for their environmental claims, fostering genuine advancements in sustainability

⏭️ What’s Next: The introduction of this stringent alignment rule is anticipated to propel a thorough reassessment and possible restructuring of ESG funds
• Fund managers are poised to face challenges in balancing environmental fidelity with profitability, raising questions regarding the future viability and performance of ESG funds in light of the reinforced alignment requisites

💬 One Quote: “The result is funds that are not truly green, but greenish” (Jon McGowan, Author and ESG Attorney) 

📈 One Stat: A 2022 study by ESG Book delineated that ESG funds, on average, engendered 14% higher GHG emissions compared to conventional funds, spotlighting the discrepancy between environmental aspirations and the actual impacts of these funds

Click for more news covering the latest on sustainable finance

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