JACKSONVILLE, FL—Florida attorney Jonathan A. McGowan (Jon), of The McGowan Law Firm, spoke on the domestic impacts of the European Union’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies at the American Bar Association’s Mid-Year Conference in New Orleans, LA.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing is a quickly developing field which is having broad reaching impacts that have yet to be fully realized. In this presentation, McGowan discussed the origins of ESG, pending legislation in the European Union, reactive legislation in the United States at both the state and federal levels, and how these policies are driving local government actions. McGowan noted how unclear ESG standards are impacting municipal credit ratings, forcing local governments to adopt policies they otherwise may not. McGowan predicted that ESG pushback from the corporate sector may create a new demand for green bonds, government bonds issued to fund environmental and resiliency projects. McGowan also noted that the largest sector of ESG in the United Kingdom is affordable housing, a focus which has yet to be utilized in the United States and may soon align with domestic priorities.
McGowan has established himself as an expert in the legal development of ESG. His article The Trouble With Tibble: Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Fiduciary Duty, in which he argued that ESG for the sake of ESG is a breach of fiduciary duty, was published by the University of Chicago Business Law Review. He authored a chapter on ESG in the United Kingdom in the book Impact Investing and Social Enterprise: Global Progress and Challenges, published by ABA Publishing. He authored a journal article on green bonds in the United Kingdom for The Year In Review, The International Law Journal of American Bar Association/ International Law Section. In November, he spoke on ESG and fiduciary duty in the European Union at the International Conference on European Company Law and Corporate Governance in Croatia. As a Fellow at the European Law Institute, he is on the members consultative committee for the project Guidance on Company Capital and Financial Accounting for Corporate Sustainability.
McGowan practices in business law, administrative law, and legal development.