GOP report slams Wall Street firms over climate, alleging 'conspiracy'

House Republicans are criticizing Wall Street firms for climate-conscious investments, the latest flare-up in the party's criticism of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments.

House Judiciary Committee Republicans released a report Tuesday report accusing leading investment firms of “colluding” with climate groups.

Specifically, they accused major asset managers BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard of being part of a “climate cartel” that also includes activist groups.

The report itself focuses primarily on the actions of activist organizations that want to deter these and other asset managers from investing in planet-warming industries such as fossil fuels.

It specifically alleged that a group called Climate Action 100+ “bullies and threatens asset managers, weaponizing their clients to force them to join and obey the climate cartel.”

The group, which promotes climate-friendly investing, denied the allegations, saying in a statement that it was “excessively politicized.”

“Investors taking on climate change stewardship are taking a common sense approach, driven by the commitment to delivering the best long-term returns for their customers and beneficiaries,” a spokesperson for Climate Action 100+ said in a written statement .

“Climate Action 100+ investors act as independent fiduciaries, responsible for their individual investment and voting decisions,” the spokesperson added.

State Street left Climate Action 100+ earlier this year and BlackRock transferred its participation to its international division. Vanguard is not a member and left the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative in 2022.

Vanguard spokesperson Netanel Spero said in a written statement that “as an independent asset manager owned by the investors in our funds, Vanguard's unique mission is to help individual investors achieve their financial goals by giving them the best opportunity for investment success.” to give.”

Meanwhile, the Republican report also castigates the Biden administration, saying it has “failed to meaningfully investigate – let alone enforce – the climate cartel conspiracy.”

The panel described its findings as part of an “interim” report and says it will continue its investigation.

It also said it will continue to examine whether Congress should enact legislative reforms to “protect competition in the U.S. economy.”

Any legislative efforts are unlikely to gain traction in the current Congress, as the Senate is controlled by Democrats and President Biden is also unlikely to sign Republican reforms into law.

But the effort, alongside the Republican Party's broader push against ESG investing, could provide a window into the party's agenda if it can win the presidency and both chambers of Congress this fall.

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