ESG Score Card for the Trump Administration – November 2020

On the eve of Election Day, Emerging Markets ESG publishes an environmental, social and governance (ESG) score card for the Trump administration.

See below the actions, decisions, policies and rulings of the Trump administration during the past five years on a range of ESG issues.


In November 2019, the Trump administration formally notified the United Nations that the United States of America would leave the Paris Accord on Climate Change.

In March 2020, the Trump administration finalized a plan to scale back targets for automobile-emissions reductions from 5% per year to 1.5%, a change that the EPA acknowledges could result in an extra 867 million tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere by vehicles sold over the next decade.

In August 2020, the Trump administration announced it will open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.

In August 2020, the Trump administration opened Federal lands in Colorado to fracking.

In September 2020, the Trump administration weakened an Obama administration rule to limit toxic waste from coal plants.


In August 2017, Donald Trump stated there were “very fine people on both sides” of clashes at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a young woman was killed.

In October 2019, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reported that “under the Trump administration, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has systematically rolled back workers’ rights to form unions and engage in collective bargaining with their employers, to the detriment of workers, their communities, and the economy.”

In June 2020, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, stating “the entire ACA act must fall.”

In July 2020, amidst the COVID19 pandemic, the Trump administration notified the Secretary-General of the United Nations of US withdrawal from the World Health Organization WHO), effective on 6 July 2021.

In August 2020, the Trump administration mandated that hospitals bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and send critical data on COVID-19 hospitalizations, availability of intensive care beds, and personal protective equipment to a private third party (TeleTracking) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).


In January 2017, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Donald Trump claimed more than once that he had the largest inauguration crowd in history.

In January 2018, Donald Trump referred to African countries, Haiti and El Salvador as “s—hole” nations.

In June 2020, protesters were cleared out of Lafayette Park, across from the White House, in order for Donald Trump to stage a photo opportunity with a Bible in front of St. John’s Church.

In June 2020, CNN reported that Donald Trump called Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, “stupid:” and Theresa May, UK Prime Minister, “a fool” over Brexit.

In July 2020, the Trump administration proposed for public comment rules that would further burden the ability of fiduciaries of private-sector retirement plans to select investments based on ESG factors and would bar 401(k) plans from using a fund with any ESG mandate as the default investment alternative for non-electing participants.

In September 2020, Donald Trump urged voters in North Carolina to vote twice.  This is illegal.

The Trump administration’s ESG score card is strikingly definitive.  Over the past four years, Donald Trump and his administration have undertaken a strident assault on ESG rights.

Aldous Huxley, the English philosopher and writer admonished, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

Voters have a choice on Election Day – end this assault on ESG rights or suffer the ESG consequences of a second Trump administration.