In February, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and his administration introduced a bicameral proposal to the state legislature. The administration’s plan aims to “protect Floridians from the Woke ESG Financial Scam.”
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards and the adherence to them, is the economic philosophy that puts emphasis on companies maintaining environmental sustainability (such as low CO2 emissions) and social responsibility (diversity in the workforce at all levels).
Around the world, efforts have been made to enforce these standards upon businesses and even other governments, mostly due to fears of climate change.
That being said, the state of Florida’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis agrees with the decision of the DeSantis administration to refrain from adhering to the ESG standards.
He told The Floridian that “ESG is fine if you want to invest in it, do that with your money. But you’re not going to use the state of Florida’s money to go out and push an ESG agenda.”
CFO Patronis also spoke on BlackRock and its relationship with the state of Florida. BlackRock is an investment management and financial services company that has been one of the main contributors to the ESG movement. Patronis that Florida’s money could be better used elsewhere.
“We had a lot of money in it, we had about $2 billion in BlackRock. BlackRock was not performing as well as some of the other contemporaries that were fund managers. So we pulled the money out of it. BlackRock has led, really, an ESG investment movement. And I’m im just like, the money is going to where I can get a better return on investment,” stated Patronis.
When asked about recent developments between Patronis and the DeSantis administration’s approach to ESG, the Florida CFO said that “we’re doing a number of things that are to ensure that Florida is not allowing our dollars to be used to be used in a way to push some type of a political agenda.”
It appears the DeSantis administration does not want any part with these new standards.