WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has concluded that two rules issued during the Trump administration “unnecessarily restrained plan fiduciaries’ ability to weigh environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when choosing investments, even when those factors would benefit plan participants financially.” The DOL issued a final rule yesterday that allows plan fiduciaries to consider climate change and other ESG factors when they select retirement investments and exercise shareholder rights, such as proxy voting. Following is a statement from Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE):
“Heading into Thanksgiving, we are very thankful to see a formal reversal of these misguided policies that were holdovers from the Trump administration. For the last two years, we have forcefully pushed back on these unpopular rules that were intentionally designed to override the free market and hamstring ESG investing, one of the nation’s fastest-growing finance trends. As this new Labor Department rule makes clear, ESG considerations are financially material, which is why sustainability investments are often recognized as the best choice for realizing maximum long-term returns.”
ACORE submitted two sets of comments concerning these proposals. To read our submitted comments on the Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments rule, click here. To read our submitted comments on the Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights rule, click here.
For more than 20 years, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) has been the nation’s premier pan-renewable nonprofit organization. ACORE unites finance, policy, and technology to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy. For more information, please visit www.acore.org.