saltlaketribune – Story by Bryan Schott – Utah State Treasurer Marlo Oaks said Saturday that corporate sustainability standards, known as ESG, are part of “Satan’s plan.”
Oaks, speaking to the Salt Lake County Republican Party Convention, said programs like ESG and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were laudable pursuits — like ending world hunger and poverty — but were part of “outcomes-based systems” designed to reach a pre-determined conclusion.
“The goals have been identified. The truth has already been defined that these are the problems, and here are the solutions. The debate is over,” Oaks said.
Oaks then veered into the biblical “war in Heaven” from the Book of Revelation, calling it another “outcomes-based” effort.
“Outcomes-based governance like the U.N.’s SDGs and ESG opens the door to authoritarianism. It is Satan’s plan,” Oaks told the GOP delegates.
ESG is a framework used by companies to evaluate their approach to issues like the use of green energy, air and water pollution, diversity in hiring and gender equality. Last year, Oaks pulled about $100 million in state funds from the Blackrock investment firm because of their use of ESG in evaluating investments.
When asked for clarification about his remarks, a spokesperson for Oaks said the issues raised by ESG are important and should be debated.