Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis

Really, Ron? Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who somehow thinks he’s presidential timber, has trained his “war on wokeness” sights on environmental, social and governance investing.

Fresh off his campaign against Disney, the "Don’t Say Gay” law restricting the discussion of LGBTQ matters in schools and his push to disenfranchise Black voters, DeSantis has prohibited the Sunshine State’s $227B retirement fund from considering ESG rankings when making investment decisions or voting proxies.

“Corporate power has increasingly been utilized to impose an ideological agenda on the American people through the perversion of financial investment priorities under the euphemistic banners of environmental, social and corporate governance and diversity, inclusion and equity,” said DeSantis on Aug. 23.

He said Florida’s tax dollars and proxy votes “will no longer be commandeered by Wall Street financial firms and used to implement policies through the boardroom that Foridians reject at the ballot box.”

My hunch is that Floridians, especially those living on its coasts, would look favorably on companies that are committed to combating global warming. They would rather not have their houses washed away.

“I want to have the values not of Davos imposed on us but of places like Destin and Dunedin where I grew up,” said DeSantis, a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law.

His resolution banning ESG takes a gratuitous swipe at the Biden administration which “has made clear its intention to encourage investment using ESG factors."

That is a cheap shot from a guy who is ever so desperate to persuade the MAGA crowd that he has a better shot at the White House than the leader of their cult.

Kudos to Edelman for refusing a big "greenwashing" gig. Stephen Horn, South Africa country director for Clean Creatives, has praised Edelman for refusing to provide PR support for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project that is being advised and possibly financed by Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group.

The proposed 1,200-km pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Uganda to Tanzania’s port of Tanga, would despoil wetlands, nature reserves and sensitive ecosystems and displace rural communities, wrote Horn in an opinion piece published in Business Day.

Standard Bank Group, which is Africa’s biggest lender, fired Edelman for its unwillingness to promote the pipeline, or as Horn puts it: “refusing to put lipstick on this pig.”

While praising Edelman, Horn believes the firm “still has a long way to go to clean up its act,” noting that it has worked for ExxonMobil over the years to play down the risks associated with climate change.

Clean Creatives is the global campaign that pressures PR firms and ad agencies into ending ties with fossil fuel clients and projects such as the EACOP.

The Standard Bank Group’s EACOP PR work is on the loose and available to any firm willing to risk its corporate reputation and public scolding by Clean Creatives and other environmental groups.