by Harold Hutchison
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy sparred with New York City Comptroller Brad Lander on Tuesday over considering green investments for pension plans.
“I am frankly worried about the pension plan participants in the funds because fossil fuel companies dramatically outperform the S&P by almost 80 percent and they outperformed the very ESG funds that divested from fossil fuel companies by nearly 100 percent,” Ramaswamy said during an appearance on CNBC’s “Last Call.”
Two pension funds for New York City employees and teachers announced they would adopt the goal of “net zero” carbon emissions by 2040, Pensions & Investments reported Wednesday.
“And yet, these ESG plans, including, with respect to Brad, the one released by New York City, calls for divesting from exactly the sectors that even over the last 12 months have dramatically outperformed.”
“If you want to go to the public as voters and say as citizens do you want to make the sacrifices needed to fight what I think is the current premise of climate change, it is up to the voters to decide, but not the proper role of any pension fund manager or anybody over seeing pension funds to use the capital to advance this,” Ramaswamy, a long-time critic of the use of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria in investing, said.
ESG, also known as “sustainable investing,” according to the Corporate Finance Institute, can factor in corporate policies on gun control, environmental issues, abortion or other issues in addition to or instead of strictly looking at a corporation’s profitability.
“I think you should use your own money, but political actors in blue state pension funds that are using OPM – other people’s money – to advance agendas that they couldn’t pass through the front door through the legislative process and I think that is a devious and dangerous game for capitalism and democracy,” Ramaswamy continued.
Missouri announced it was pulling all assets from BlackRock Oct. 18, claiming the company’s push for ESG was a “massive fiduciary breach.” Four other states announced they were pulling their assets, the Financial Times reported in October.
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Harold Hutchison is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Vivek Ramaswamy” by The Daily Caller.