ESG investing, also known as sustainable investing, has witnessed explosive growth over the last few years. However, ESG critics are now claiming that ESG investing in its current form may not help the environment or create positive social change.

“Companies will continue focusing on producing efficiently and economically…That’s not going to change,” Travis Wofford, chair of Houston’s Corporate Department at Baker Botts, told Hart Energy’s Faiza Rizvi.

“Investors may still expect best practices from an environmental perspective and safety perspective and expect the same returns on investment,” he added.

Wofford also explained how the current market environment has made investors realize that fossil fuels are needed for a successful energy transition.

“There are many investors who had moved away from traditional oil and gas and their portfolios aren’t performing well,” he said.

“There was a moment in time when people had said oil and gas is not sustainable and we’re all going to move to net zero tomorrow,” he noted. “However, in the current commodity environment, people have realized that oil and gas isn’t going away and that you can have a sustainable product using existing hydrocarbon resources.”