Resolution to discourage Louisiana pension system from ESG investments stalls

A resolution to discourage the state’s retirement systems from considering environmental, social, and governance policies in investments stalled in a Senate committee Tuesday.

The Senate Judiciary A Committee on Tuesday deadlocked 3-3 to involuntarily defer House Concurrent Resolution 110, sponsored by Rep. Blake Miguez, R-New Iberia, which aimed "to urge and request state and statewide retirement system board of trustees to uphold their fiduciary duty when making financial decisions and to not allow environmental, social, and governance policies to influence their investment decisions."


The motion to defer came from Sen. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria, who questioned how the recommendation would impact carbon capture projects in the state. Because it was a tie vote, the resolution remained in committee for now. HCR 110 cleared the House with a vote of 88-6 last week.

"The intent is to keep the retirement systems operating like they were before," Miguez told the committee. "It says the return on investment is the primary factor" but does not rule out climate focused investments.

"I think it does just the opposite of what you think it does," Luneau said.

HCR 110 contends fiduciaries fail to meet their obligation to beneficiaries when they take action or consider factors that promote social, political, or ideological interests, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting civil rights laws, or divestments based on politics.

The legislation follows an investigation launched last month by Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican candidate for governor, into an investor led coalition that’s pushing corporations to reduce carbon emissions known as Climate Action 100+.

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