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DOL's Ali Khawar says agency will continue work on ESG

October 25, 2022

By Courtney Degen

Even after the Department of Labor issues its final rule on environmental, social and governance investing, the agency will continue to engage with ESG issues, said Ali Khawar, principal deputy assistant secretary of the DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration, at Pensions & Investments' Defined Contribution West Conference in Carlsbad, Calif., on Tuesday.

"We think that this rule is an important step, but it's not really going to be the end of our work on it," Mr. Khawar said, delivering the conference's closing keynote speech. In October 2021, the Labor Department issued a proposed rule — called "Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights" — that states "in many instances fiduciaries … should consider climate change and other ESG factors in the assessment of investment risks and returns."

In his remarks Tuesday, Mr. Khawar said the DOL sent its final rule to the Office of Management and Budget a few weeks ago, and, as a result, are "pretty close to the end of the process," though he did not share specifics.

ESG investing has seen major pushback from Republican officials across the country. Last week, four GOP representatives introduced a bill in the House specifically targeting the Labor Department's rule proposal. [READ MORE]


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