Arizona will no longer participate in investigations into banks and other financial institutions over ESG investing practices, according to a statement from the state’s new Attorney General, Kris Mayes.
Under the administration of Republican former Governor Doug Ducey, Arizona had adopted or participated in a series of anti-ESG initiatives, including revising the investment policies of the State Treasurer’s Office to disallow the use of ESG factors in the investment process, and in August, Mayes’ predecessor Mark Brnovich joined 18 other Attorneys General in publishing a letter accusing BlackRock of acting with “mixed motives” in its pursuit of an anti-fossil fuel and pro-net zero agenda.
In her statement Monday, Mayes, a Democrat elected in January, said that she believes “it is not the place of government to tell corporations and their investors that they cannot invest in sustainable technologies and practices or improve their governance processes.”
Criticizing the time and resources spent by her predecessor’s administration “launching politicized investigations into the environmental sustainability efforts of major financial institutions,” Mayes said that the state “is not going to stand in the way of corporations’ efforts to move in the right direction.”
“Corporations should be permitted to access capital markets in ways that they feel are necessary for the advancement of their investor objectives and for society, as long as they are doing so in a lawful manner. Corporations increasingly realize that investing in sustainability is both good for our country, our environment, and public health and good for their bottom lines.”