EmPower to Start Energy Innovation Center
Friday, December 4, 2020

Public-Private Effort Aims to Overcome ESG Issues

A growing trend in the investment community focusing on the "sustainability" of a business sector is putting a serious strain on the ability of fossil fuel industries to attract capital, and the State of North Dakota has a plan to address the problem. 

The state Commerce Department, through the EmPower Commission, plans to kick-start establishment of an Energy Innovation Center to demonstrate that North Dakota meets the criteria that investment firms are seeking. The center is aimed at improving the state's ESG scores (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance), which are increasingly used to measure the societal impact of an investment in a company or business, under the assumption that the criteria help determine the future financial performance of companies. 

James Leiman, director of Economic Development and Finance for the Commerce Department, said the state has a lot to offer, particularly in the area of value-added energy projects, but needs to be able to articulate that potential and help the state's business explain it to their lenders.

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