ESG and the Fossil Fuel Industry: Activists, Investors, and the Government

  • 21 Apr 2021
  • 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Zoom

Participation in this panel is included with conference registration. Please register on the main event webpage. This panel webpage provides more details on this specific panel, and allows attendees to save event details to their online calendars. 

12:30 - 1:30 PM:  ESG and the Fossil Fuel Industry: Activists, Investors, and the Government

1:30 - 2:00 PM:  Breakout Sessions

  • CONTEXT:

    • This panel will examine how environmental, social and governance investing (ESG) practices are impacting the fossil fuel industry. It will detail the perspectives of all concerned parties (fossil fuel corporations, environmentalists, political activists, investors, and government regulators) and it will  review how they interact to shape emerging energy production and policy.

  • QUESTIONS:

    • How active should asset managers be in promulgating ESG standards in the fossil fuel sector? Is there a conflict between asset managers and their ultimate clients (the retail and institutional investors)?

    • Will successful ESG efforts strand fossil fuel assets before alternative energy strategies can satisfy U.S. energy needs? Will successful ESG efforts hobble the domestic fossil fuel industry and cedes market share to foreign, primary state-owned companies that undermine U.S. national security?

    • How will, and how should, the Biden administration proceed regarding ESG policy and the fossil fuel sector?

  • MODERATOR:

    • Jonathan Chanis, Managing Director of New Tide Asset Management, LLC

  • SPEAKERS:

  • Benjamin Zycher (Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute) 

  • Margaret Peloso (Partner — Environmental & Natural Resources, Vinson & Elkins). 

  • Tracey Cameron - Senior Manager, Corporate Climate Engagement, Ceres

  • SPEAKER BIOS:


Margaret Peloso’s practice focuses on climate change risk management and environmental litigation.  She advises energy companies, financial institutions and funds on climate risk analysis and disclosure.  The other significant component of Margaret’s practice focuses on translational science.  She advises clients on a broad range of litigation and regulatory matters in which there are significant scientific or technical issues that require the use of outside experts.

Prior to joining Vinson & Elkins, Margaret completed her Ph.D. in environment at Duke University, where she wrote her doctoral dissertation on legal and policy issues associated with sea-level rise adaptation.  Margaret frequently authors articles on climate change, environmental law and environmental shareholder activism, including a recently published book titled Adapting to Rising Sea Levels: Legal Challenges and Opportunities.


Benjamin Zycher is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he works on energy and environmental policy.

Before joining AEI, Zycher conducted a broad research program in his public policy research firm, and was an intelligence community associate of the Office of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, US Department of State.  He is a former senior economist at the RAND Corporation, a former adjunct professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and at the California State University Channel Islands, and is a former senior economist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.  He served as a senior staff economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, with responsibility for energy and environmental policy issues.

Benjamin Zycher has a doctorate in economics from UCLA, a Master in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from UCLA.

Tracey Cameron joined Ceres in 2019 to develop and execute Ceres’ organizational strategy for advancing the Carbon Asset Risk campaign. Prior to joining Ceres, Tracey was at Fidelity Investments where she provided voting analysis and recommendations for the Fidelity funds and engaged with portfolio companies on environmental, social and governance issues across sectors with particular focus on companies operating in the energy and materials sectors. Tracey played an integral role in launching the Fidelity ESG Office, working across the enterprise to raise awareness of material ESG issues to the investment process. Earlier work in fixed income spanned a range of asset managers and roles in data analysis, trading and syndicate.


Jonathan Chanis has worked in investment management, emerging markets finance, and commodities trading for over 25 years. Currently he manages New Tide Asset Management, a company focused on global and resource trading. He previously worked at Citigroup and Caxton Associates where he traded energy and emerging market equities, and commodities and currencies. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on political economy, public policy, international politics, energy security and other subjects at several higher education institutions including Columbia University. Jonathan also is a Board Member of NCAC-USAEE.






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