Getting your arms around environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues can be quite some task. As one observer noted, current criteria used to evaluate ESG issues are “highly diverse on a massively com­plex subject.”

ESG issues have never before claimed such importance. Public companies, no matter in what sector they may operate, “ignore this at their peril,” according to Pavel Molchanov, an energy research analyst at Raymond James & Associates Inc.

On the environmental issue alone, the divide is wide—very wide—in terms of opinions. As one industry magnate summed up, there are two sets of people: one that denies climate change is occurring and another that “thinks it will be easy to solve.”

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