On Tuesday’s broadcast of Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power,” Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Chairman Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said he supports environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts by banks to look “more closely at whom they lend to and who are socially responsible and who are destroying the environment and who is improving the environment.” And said ESG critics are “climate deniers” or think the world should be run by white men.
Host David Westin asked, “Senator, one of the challenges for these bankers is environmental, social, and governance because they seem to be getting caught between some states who are saying, don’t you pay attention to that or we won’t give you our money, our pension plan money, and some pension plans saying, you better pay attention to it. Is there anything you in Congress should do or could do to help them?”
Brown responded, “I’m a bit incredulous when I hear my colleagues just attack them because some of these banks actually believe, some of these CEOs believe in racial diversity and believe in opportunity, believe in giving more women a chance for management positions, giving more African Americans and Asians and Latinos an opportunity to advance in the banks and help those people in the communities. And I’m also even maybe equally incredulous that there are still [those]…who continue to deny climate change, that deny the existence and the threat of climate and they beat these banks up because these banks are putting effort in looking more closely at whom they lend to and who are socially responsible and who are destroying the environment and who is improving the environment. So, I support those efforts. I think most bank CEOs want to do that, and I think those politicians that are climate deniers or those politicians that think the world should be run by people — entirely people that look like me are just wrong.”
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