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Climate change and the politicisation of ESG in the US

Hilson, C. ORCID: (2024) Climate change and the politicisation of ESG in the US. Frontiers in Political Science, 6. 1332399. ISSN 2673-3145

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3389/fpos.2024.1332399


ESG, or environmental, social, and governance, is seen by some as an instrument to tackle climate change, and by others as a tool to allow investors to assess climate change risks and opportunities. It has been widely politicised in the US, where Republican critics have characterised it as an attempt by the liberal financial elite to impose a leftist decarbonising mission on the US economy through an investment risk back door. The current paper explores the way in which ESG has become a, perhaps unlikely, object of politicisation by the political right. In doing so, it analyses the meaning of politicisation in an ESG context and the various forms it has taken, both discursive and substantive. The paper also seeks to explain why it is that ESG politicisation has occurred at particular junctures and draws on political opportunity theory from social movement studies to account for this. It further examines various reactions to the politicisation of ESG that have sought to depoliticise it.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:115718


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