Companies that earn high Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) scores pollute just as much as lower-rated companies, according to research reviewed by the Financial Times.
High ESG scores are negatively correlated with reduced carbon emissions and even when only using the E, the environmental pillar of ESG as the measurement, companies still were not environmentally friendly, research done by Scientific Beta, an index fund and consultancy firm, shows, according to the FT. ESG funds have seen large inflows over the past few years, but have experienced pushback from anti “woke capital” proponents.
“The correlation between ESG scores and carbon intensity is close to zero,” research director at Scientific Beta, Felix Goltz, told the FT.
“ESG ratings have little to no relation to carbon intensity, even when considering only the environmental pillar of these ratings,” Goltz added. “On average, social and governance scores more than completely reversed the carbon reduction objective.”
Some Republicans have been taking on ESG investing, with some calling it “woke capitalism.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has targeted ESG and signed a law banning public officials from using public money to promote ESG, while House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan called on companies in July to explain their usage of ESG, claiming it may violate anti-trust law.
“They are not designed to measure a company’s impact on climate change,” a spokesperson for MSCI ESG Research, a financial research firm, told the FT.
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