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September 4, 2023

How Conservatives Are Fighting Back Against Environmental and Socially Conscious Investments

Ask Students: Why is diversification of assets important? How is so-called "ESG" a problem according to conservatives? What prompted the President's first veto?.


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The extreme weather events that hit the U.S. and other countries have cast a sharp spotlight on the role of climate change. In recent years, those concerns have been a key part of significant changes in the way investment firms and companies do business. But now a backlash is brewing against what conservative politicians call "woke capitalism." 

For a transcript of this story, click here.

What is ESG?

Environmental, social, and corporate governance (a.k.a. environmental, social, and governance); a framework that helps stakeholders understand how an organization manages risks and opportunities related to these three factors.

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Discussion Questions

  • Why is diversification of assets important, according to Brad Lander?
  • Where does Lander control investments?
  • How is so-called "ESG" a problem according to conservatives?
  • Who is Sean Reyes?
  • What prompted President Joe Biden's very first veto?

Focus Questions

What do you think are some of the political motivations of investing in—or banning—ESG?

Media Literacy: What is something you still don't understand about ESG? How could you find out more?

Extension Activity

Discuss with a friend, neighbor or classmate — how does the concept of ESG investing go beyond solely monetary returns?

Lesson Plans on Climate Change

Explore more resources for educators to find a wide-range of relevant preK-12 lessons on climate change or supporting young people as they continue to lead the conversation around the climate change crisis.

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom
PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories. The site combines the best of NewsHour's reliable, trustworthy news program with lesson plans developed specifically for... See More

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