Energy Cafe: Moral or Pragmatic? The Case of ESG

This cafe will be hosted by Dr Ainur “Aina” Begim (International Business, Norwegian University of Science and Technology).

Moral or Pragmatic? The Case of ESG

The climate crisis is increasingly framed as a profound threat to global prosperity, and sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria have become important considerations for governments and firms around the world in the past few years. Sustainable investments witnessed tremendous growth during this period as investors sought to incorporate ESG issues (environmental pollution, human rights abuses, labor practices) into financial analysis and risk management. 2021 was a record year for sustainable investments with the inflow of $120 billion into these funds, more than double the amount in 2020 (Bloomberg 2021). The ESG fervor, however, has rapidly declined in recent months as ESG investments tumbled following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and the subsequent rise in oil prices. “Doing well by doing good” no longer seems to describe ESG investments. Meanwhile, ESG has become a subject of ferocious critique by a wide range of actors from American conservatives to Big Tech to current and former ESG finance insiders.


Dr Begim is a sociocultural anthropologist with research and teaching interests in economic anthropology, finance, sustainability, natural resources, Eurasia and Norway. Prior to graduate studies, she worked as a credit analyst on Wall Street.

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This event is sponsored by the Energy Climate Finance Network.



Jun 07 2022


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm