While the scope of environmental, social and governance policies continues to be under debate among legislators, corporate stakeholders as well as attorneys working in this space, Republican attorneys general have joined forces with some red state legislators to lead a concerted campaign against ESG. “This is an emotional thing,” Wilmer Hale’s co-chair of the firm’s state attorneys general practice Paul W. Connell told NLJ. “The words that are generated by Republican AGs related to ESG are ‘this is economic vandalism’ or ‘we’re not going to sit back and pay for our own destruction.’”

The debate is centered primarily on the Biden administration’s climate policy agenda and the private sector’s growing commitment to the gradual decarbonization of the U.S. economy. In a recent letter to the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance as well as another to Asset Managers, 21 state attorneys general are calling sector-wide ESG efforts a potential case of using “unfair deceptive acts and practices.”