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ESG Managers Skewer ‘Ridiculous’ Idea of Embracing Arms Stocks

Defense lobbyists, as well as some analysts and bankers, have been discussing the merits of treating weapons as ESG assets.

Rheinmetall AG, a German manufacturer of military equipment, has almost doubled in value since the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Rheinmetall AG, a German manufacturer of military equipment, has almost doubled in value since the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Photographer: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Getty Images

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There’s a group of fund managers overseeing environmental, social and governance investments who worry their field is facing another blow to its credibility.

Since the arrival of war in Europe, arms lobbyists, financial analysts and some bankers have been discussing the merits of treating weapons as ESG assets. And with lawmakers in Europe now facing pressure to add defense companies to the bloc’s environmental, social and governance rulebook, critics are asking whether the label risks losing all meaning.