This post by Scott Kalb of New America is in response to “O Canada, how do your pension plans get high ESG scores when you’re up to your neck in tar-sands oil?,” published on Jan. 24 in ImpactAlpha by Imogen Rose-Smith.
I would like to thank ImpactAlpha for publishing our response to Imogen Rose-Smith’s article published on Jan 24, 2022. We are glad that readers are taking our work seriously and we welcome the opportunity to have a thoughtful discussion about the merits of the Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative report, although we don’t think calling anyone’s work “stupid” is conducive to a meaningful conversation. It is not constructive for those seeking to advance change in responsible investing to throw stones at one another, a tactic that is driving some of the most destructive and polarizing policy debates in society today.
There are various ways to motivate change among asset allocators and promoting a “race to the top” is RAAI’s preferred approach. We believe this is the right path because investors need expertise, support, and positive incentives to change practices that may have become deeply rooted and institutionalized over time. Developing solutions to today’s most challenging problems is no easy task.
We also believe that institutions need to be held accountable, and by transparently reporting scores and performance rankings, we are providing tools that help to promote such accountability. Contrarily, we feel that “na
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