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18 Jan 2023

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BlackRock CEO Notes Polarization with ESG Investing Discussions

DAVOS, Switzerland - BlackRock CEO Larry Fink described an “ugly” narrative and “huge polarization” when it comes to ESG investing, according to a report from Bloomberg from the World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. ESG criticisms are “not (about) business anymore, and they're doing it in a personal way,” he said. The Bloomberg report cited a recent tweet from Twitter CEO Elon Musk that said, “The S in ESG stands for Satanic” as an example of current ESG discussion.

BlackRock has lost more than $1.4 trillion in investments under management since it reached a peak of more than $10 trillion in 2021.

ESG has been difficult to quantify for businesses since the concept's inception. BlackRock's rather imprecise definition reads as: “Environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration is the practice of incorporating ESG information into investment decisions to help enhance risk-adjusted returns, regardless of whether a strategy has a sustainable mandate. “ The company also makes a distinction between ESG and sustainable investing, calling the latter an “umbrella” and the former a “toolkit.”

IDCA extends the term ESG to nations as a whole, rather than just companies. It further adds an Environmental dimension, resulting in the new, unique concept of EESG. Taken to a national level, each of the four areas can indeed be quantified, and integrated into a single measure.

IDCA's inaugural EESG Digital Readiness Index of Nations reflects this approach and the results it produces. A total of 147 nations are under purview in this report, with overall scores, separate scores in each of the four categories, and a look at the influence that each category plays within each nation's overall score.

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