In West Virginia, the state treasurer has pulled money from the world's largest asset manager because of its stance on climate change.
A new law in Texas bars the state's retirement and investment funds from doing business with companies that boycott fossil fuels. Lawmakers in 15 other states are promoting the same legislation.
Utah and Idaho have criticized a major ratings agency for considering environmental risks and other factors when assessing states' creditworthiness.
Republican lawmakers and their allies across the country are trying to stop activist companies from trying to reduce greenhouse gases.
Hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue for the state of West Virginia comes from energy. This is who we are. This is part of the way of life in the state. They are telling us that the industries are bad.
Mr. Moore said that there was an "existential threat" here.
Climate change has been pushed into the political battles over issues like abortion and voting rights by Mr. Moore and others. In recent months, conservatives have moved beyond tough words and used legislative and financial leverage to pressure the private sector to drop climate action.
Daniella Ballou-Aares is the chief executive of the Leadership Now Project, a nonprofit organization that wants corporations to address threats to democracy. Companies are starting to hide.
A group of Republican state officials have reached out to financial organizations, made media appearances, and threatened to punish companies thatDivest from fossil fuels.
They have worked with a nonprofit organization that has run television ads, dispatched roaming billboard trucks, and rented out a Times Square billboard that criticized the company for its environmentalism.
Many in the financial sector boasted that they were focusing on environmental, social and governance issues instead of pure profits.
The Republican Party has traditionally been an ally of big business, but that activism has put companies at odds. After Indiana passed a law that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gay customers, big employers threatened to leave the state. Nike faced a backlash for its ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, the former N.F.L. quarterback who knelt during the national anthem to protest racism and police brutality.
Over the past five years, the signs of a warming planet have grown more apparent, in the form of more destructive storms and fires, record heat and drought, and as pressure has grown from consumers and liberal groups to take action, corporations have warmed to the idea. Faith-based groups, universities and foundations have stopped investing in fossil fuels. Maine became the first state to require both the Treasury and the public employee pension fund to stop investing in fossil fuels last year.
More than 2,000 businesses and investors, including Apple, Amazon and Mars, signed a pledge to continue to work toward climate goals after President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate accord.
A group of senior business leaders promised to redefine the purpose of a corporation and prioritize the environment, workers and communities in 2019.
At the United Nations climate talks in Glasgow last year, a record number of banks, investors and companies committed to reaching net zero by the year 2050. Several people said they saw opportunity in investing in new technology that could power an economy that is not dependent on fossil fuels.
In his annual letter to corporate leaders, Larry Fink, the chief executive of BlackRock, implores them to look beyond the bottom line and make a positive contribution to society.
In his most recent letter, Mr. Fink said that there is a sound business rationale for taking up the fight against climate change and imploring other companies to act.
The transition to a net-zero world will transform every company and industry.
The executives say they are unbowed by the conservative backlash.
"It's not going to stop me," said the co-founder and co-chief executive ofSalesforce, one of the most outspoken business leaders on social and political issues.
Mr. Benioff said that politicians have to do what they are elected to do.
Republican lawmakers are becoming more organized in their efforts to slow corporate progress on climate issues.
Mr. Moore coordinated a letter in November from 16 state treasurers and comptrollers to banks across the country, threatening collective action in response to the ongoing and growing economic boycott of traditional energy production industries by the U.S.
It is our hope that no financial institution will be barred from providing banking services to our states.
In January, Mr. Moore pulled about $20 million out of a fund managed by BlackRock because the firm encouraged other companies to reduce emissions. West Virginia's state retirement system is still managed by BlackRock.
In private, elected officials in conservative states have been even harsher.
Gary Howell, a West Virginia state representative who sponsored a bill that would blacklist companies that have divested from fossil fuels, wrote in an email to Mr. Moore that big banks are virtue signaling because they are woke. Documented obtained the message under a Freedom of Information Act request.
A request for comment was not responded to by Mr. Howell.
Idaho's top elected officials, including the governor and the entire congressional delegation, sent a letter last week to the chief executive of S&P Global, objecting to the company's use of ESG metrics in its rankings. Similar letters have been sent by officials in other states.
The South Carolina state treasurer sent an email to senior executives at the bank, warning them to stay out of political culture wars.
Mr. Fink is a main target of conservatives. Engine No. 1 won three seats on the board of Exxon in order to push the energy giant to reduce its carbon footprint.
A nonprofit group called Consumers began running ads attacking Mr. Fink after receiving funding from undisclosed donors.
Will Hild, executive director of Consumers, told the Conservative Political Action Conference in February that Mr. Fink helped vote on three radical environmentalists to the board of directors of Exxon.
People familiar with the firm said the pressure was not changing the investment strategy. In states like Texas, the company has tried to limit the impact, stressing that it is following the wishes of its clients and investing broadly.
We are perhaps the world's largest investor in fossil fuel companies, and we want to see them succeed and prosper.
According to Ms. Blass, there were $259 billion in assets invested in fossil fuel companies around the world, with $91 billion invested in Texas fossil fuel companies alone.
It was said this month that it would support fewer shareholder proposals calling for climate action because they were not consistent with its long-term financial interests.
In a statement, the company said it was committed to engaging with all stakeholders to make sure they understood their fiduciary duty to their clients.
BlackRock is acting like it is trying to please everyone, according to a senior strategist at The Sunrise Project.
The efforts appear to be having an impact on other companies. At the annual meetings of big banks and oil companies, shareholders voted down climate proposals that would have slowed investments in fossil fuel projects.
The backlash against environmental, social and governance concerns is spreading as the stock markets sink and concerns about inflation grow.
The richest man in the world waded into the debate and said it was a scam.
Stuart Kirk, the global head of responsible investments for HSBC Asset Management, made a provocative presentation at a Financial Times event in London.
Climate risk is not a financial risk that we need to worry about, according to Mr. Kirk.
The view is at odds with the findings of the world's leading climate scientists. A major United Nations report warned last month that the world could reach a threshold by the end of this decade that could cause more harm to the planet. According to the federal government, there were 20 weather or climate-related disasters in the United States that cost more than $1 billion in losses.
Mr. Kirk was celebrated and derided on social media. Top executives at the bank said his words did not reflect HSBC's position. HSBC would not confirm or deny that Mr. Kirk had been suspended. HSBC's group chief executive repeated the bank's commitment to fighting climate change in a post on LinkedIn.
He said that their ambition was to be the leading bank supporting the global economy in the transition to net zero.