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ESG Finds Itself at Crossroads After Investing in Putin’s Russia (1)

March 7, 2022, 12:39 PM

An investing movement that promotes itself as a protector of people and the planet has somehow found itself providing capitalto the autocratic regime behind Europe’s worst military conflict since World War II.

Funds labeled ESG -- an acronym that denotes a commitment to environmental, social and governance interests -- own shares of Russia’s state-backed energy behemoths Gazprom PJSC and Rosneft PJSC, as well as its biggest lender Sberbank PJSC. The funds also hold Russian government bonds, providing money that ultimately helped pad the coffers of President Vladimir Putin’s autocracy.

Paul Clements-Hunt, who led a group that coined the term ESG back in ...