Bloomberg BusinessWeek Article on ESG Investing Ideological Divide Cites Ropes & Gray State ESG Analysis

In The News
November 3, 2022

The Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund plans to sell all $350 million of its fossil-fuel holdings by the end of 2027, or invest enough in clean energy to fully offset its stakes in oil, gas and coal. The decision is the latest sign of the ideological divide impacting the nation’s public retirement system. While states including Texas and Florida are punishing asset managers that make investment decisions based on environmental, social and governance factors, other states including Maine, California and Illinois are taking the opposite approach.

A Bloomberg BusinessWeek article about the growing political divide over ESG investments in the U.S. cites a Ropes & Gray state-by-state analysis that tracks and monitors state ESG investing rule changes for investment professionals to devise strategies to understand the patchwork of state rules.

The article notes that conflicting state laws leave managers of public pension funds in a difficult position especially, as the firm analysis says “when restrictions may prohibit a manager from considering investment factors it would otherwise view as significant for purposes of prudently investing state pension assets.” The state ESG analysis was created by ERISA and benefits partner Joshua Lichtenstein, ESG, CSR and business & human rights partner and global chair Michael Littenberg, ERISA and benefits associates Reagan Haas and Jonathan Reinstein.