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State Regulation of ESG Investment Decision-making by Public Retirement Plans: An Updated Survey

Last year, Ropes & Gray published an Alert that described the different approaches states were considering (or had implemented in several cases) regarding the regulation of ESG investments by state retirement systems. The growing divide in the ESG regulatory landscape in different states became clear with the passage of legislation in Maine and Texas in 2021, which adopted contradictory ESG policies for state pension fund investments. This converse approach deepened over the past year, as more than a dozen states introduced new initiatives either to divest state pension funds from gun and ammunition companies or oil and gas companies and coal companies or, conversely, to require state pension fund divestment from companies that boycott fossil fuel companies. While many state pension divestment bills expressly exclude managed investment funds and private equity funds, some do not. Some initiatives further require that the pension fund board request that investment fund managers create similar funds without the targeted holdings. Beyond legislation on divestment and state contracts, states are deploying task forces, investigations and report committees to encourage or discourage ESG investing, while some pension funds are adopting their own investment and proxy voting policies that incorporate ESG.

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The SEC’s Proposed Climate Disclosure Rules – Comment Letter Stats

Time to Read: 1 minutes Practices: ESG, CSR and Business and Human Rights

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In March, the SEC proposed rules that would mandate enhanced climate-related disclosures by public companies. These rules arguably would be the most significant new public company disclosure and compliance requirements in a generation. By the time the comment period closed on June 17, the SEC had received approximately 14,000 comment letters. In this analysis, we provide statistics on the comment letters and note some of the many significant comment letters submitted.

Click here to read the full Analysis.

About Our Practice

Ropes & Gray has a leading ESG, CSR, and business and human rights compliance practice. We offer clients a comprehensive approach in these subject areas through a global team with members in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In addition, senior members of the practice have advised on these matters for more than 30 years, enabling us to provide a long-term perspective that few firms can match.

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