Anti-ESG Report Card: 2024 Presidential Candidates


In an attempt to secure vast amounts of wealth and influence over society, corporations, bankers, and investors, working closely with key government officials, have launched a unified effort to impose environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards on most of the industrialized global economy. (ESG standards are also often referred to as “sustainable investment” or “stakeholder capitalism.”)

According to a report by the prominent accounting firm KPMG, thousands of companies around the world now produce ESG reports. This includes an astounding 96 percent of the G250, “the 250 largest companies by revenue as defined in the Fortune 500 ranking.”

ESG standards are designed to create a “great reset of capitalism” and to “revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.”

ESG supporters plan to enact these radical changes by using ESG schemes to alter how businesses and investments are evaluated, so that instead of focusing on the quality of goods and services, profits, and other traditional economic metrics, companies—including financial institutions—are evaluated largely on their commitment to social justice and environmental causes, and then assigned scores so that companies can be compared, rewarded, or potentially punished.

In January 2022, concerned lawmakers in dozens of states introduced legislation aimed at combatting the threat posed by ESG. During the 2022 and 2023 legislative sessions, numerous states passed anti-ESG legislation, although nearly all continue to allow various forms of ESG discrimination. Only Florida, with support from Gov. Ron DeSantis, has taken a truly all-encompassing approach to the ESG problem. In 2023, it banned banks from using many non-financial criteria when evaluating customers, a remarkable blow to the ESG movement.

The fight over ESG is far from over. It is highly likely that the fate of the ESG movement in America will be closely correlated to the results of the 2024 election, which at present features numerous Republican candidates; Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an independent; and the sitting president, Democrat Joe Biden.

This publication seeks to provide the public with a detailed, easy-to-understand guide to the ESG policies offered by all of the prominent presidential candidates still in the race. To produce this report, a team of ESG experts at The Heartland Institute, a national nonprofit think tank, conducted an in-depth investigation of all of the candidates, their past statements on ESG, and their policy proposals related to ESG. Throughout the research process, the team at The Heartland Institute reached out to many of the presidential campaigns, to verify all the findings presented in this report
are correct, and, when necessary, to ask for additional information.

Candidates were then assigned letter grades, based on their statements, policies, and previous votes related to ESG. High scores were given to candidates with the strongest policies against the use of ESG by governments, pensions, and financial institutions. The lowest scores were given to candidates who have openly supported the use of ESG, such as President Biden.

Many readers will be surprised at some of the scores presented in this report. Some might be tempted to think scores were influenced by bias or favoritism, but I can assure you that is not the case. The team that worked on this report holds diverse political, social, and religious views, and no one who has labored on this project has worked or volunteered for any of the candidates discussed herein, nor donated any money to any of the relevant presidential campaigns.

ESG is one of the most important issues facing the country today. We hope that this project will serve as a valuable asset to the public, which has in recent years grown increasingly more concerned about ESG and other social credit scoring systems.

If you have questions about any of the information contained within this report, including our methodology, you can contact me directly at [email protected].