“Social investing” campaigns include not only promotion of preferred investments but a determined effort to disable these investments’ competition. That darker flip side involves a “climate risk disclosure” industry. Players in this “CRD” movement include state attorneys general, comptrollers and treasurers, and lawmakers combining with public pension funds, interest groups and, of course, contingency-fee lawyers. Even academics admit to expecting a taste of the expected settlement fund.

The campaign seeks to impede access to capital—one player called it “divestment through value destruction.” The effective goal is to coerce “confessions” in energy-related interests’ public filings that catastrophic man-made global warming is a real problem of which they constitute a significant part, that their reserves are in fact worth little to nothing and their previous filings and other statements constitute actionable misdeeds, possibly fraud.

The “social investing” industry represents more than suspect fiscal responsibility. It also embodies the darker attributes of the climate and environmental industries.

Chris Horner
Energy & Environment Legal Institute