Before the pandemic, one of the biggest news stories of the year was BlackRock’s decision to make climate risk a central part of its investment strategy. This isn’t your average family office; this is a company with $7 trillion under management.

It brought more mainstream attention to the ESG model, which stands for environmental, social, governance. ESG is a set of standards for valuing ethical business practices, including decarbonization. Suddenly all kinds of ESG funds focused on sustainability are popping up, worth a total of $1 trillion.

The concept is not new. But activity has ramped way up in the last few years. BlackRock’s splashy climate declaration only ramped it further.

It’s also a world that is neither well defined nor well regulated, and still very messy. Will that messiness derail progress in the world of sustainable investing?

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