Red warning lights are flashing over the rise of green investing

Few things hurt the reputation of a company or an industry more than detailed criticism from a former insider. That is why an essay published last month on the online platform Medium by Tariq Fancy, the former chief investment officer for sustainable investing at BlackRock, is so devastating.

In essence, he argues that not only is environmental, social and governance investing useless, it is actually harmful. He suggests, among other things, that investment outperformance implied by ESG investors is exaggerated, that profit and purpose have less in common than ESG investors like to think, and that time horizons deployed by ESG investors are too short to tackle environmental crises.

As Fancy put it: “Protecting an investment portfolio from the disastrous effects of climate change is