Proponents of Wharton’s new direction, such as Penn professor Witold J. Henisz, see it as a way to “enhance” capitalism’s “efficiency.” Henisz, vice dean and faculty director of Wharton’s ESG Initiative, told RealClearInvestigations that by incorporating “pollution, human rights, and other ESG impacts” into financial analyses, market participants can properly price such “externalities” and “mitigate” associated risks.
In a recent opinion piece challenging critics of the “anti-ESG” or “anti-woke investment movement,” Henisz said: “Climate risk is investment risk. There is no credible other side, only an ideological opposition cynically seeking a wedge issue for upcoming political campaigns.”
When RCI asked Henisz to clarify his remarks, he said: “I believe that the science on climate risk as investment risk is settled. I do not see substantive academically grounded debate on this point.”
“There are, by contrast,” he added, “legitimate questions as to how, when and where climate risk poses investment risk and we encourage all such discourse, research and debate.”