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Evolving focus on ESG post-COVID-19
Source: advisory.kpmg.us
Appears moderately imbalanced

Article summary:

1. COVID-19 has increased awareness and demand for ESG investment, with a focus on social factors such as workplace safety and customer engagement.

2. U.S. financial services regulators are responding cautiously to ESG concerns, suggesting that climate change and ESG issues generally should be addressed by public policy makers.

3. Despite few specific regulatory requirements in place, individual U.S. financial services companies have taken independent action to join the FSB's Task-Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure and commit to sustainable energy production.

Article analysis:

The article provides a comprehensive overview of the evolving focus on ESG post-COVID-19, highlighting the increasing awareness and expectations among investors, public policy makers, and consumers. It notes that ESG investment is accelerating, pushing investor demand for enhanced ESG-related disclosure and data. However, the usefulness to investors is further limited by a lack of common definitions, measures, and standards as well as models and data.

The article also highlights that social factors are rising in importance alongside better known “E” factors such as climate change. U.S. regulators are considering ways to address ESG issues but have not imposed ESG-specific regulatory requirements.

While the article provides valuable insights into the current state of ESG investing and regulation in the U.S., it has some potential biases and limitations. For example, it focuses primarily on the views of financial services regulators and public policy makers, with limited input from other stakeholders such as civil society organizations or environmental groups.

Additionally, while the article notes that pressure from investors, employees, customers, and the general public has driven companies to commit to and act upon an ESG strategy, it does not explore potential risks associated with greenwashing or insufficient action on ESG issues by companies.

Furthermore, while the article highlights some actions taken by federal financial services agencies to address ESG issues such as reviewing pandemic preparedness plans or implementing forbearance programs for consumers and investors during COVID-19 crisis, it does not provide a comprehensive analysis of their effectiveness or potential limitations.

Overall, while the article provides a useful overview of evolving focus on ESG post-COVID-19 in the U.S., it could benefit from more balanced reporting that explores potential risks associated with insufficient action on ESG issues by companies or limitations of current regulatory frameworks.