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Landscape Review: Investing in Climate Change Mitigation

11.07.2019

This landscape review by the impact investing team presents the opportunity to examine the effects of climate change and considers options for investing in ways that may effect positive change. Investors interested in having a positive impact on the challenge of global climate change want to know how to be strategic with their capital. Which areas are in greatest need of change in order to speed the transition to a future with lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions?

This landscape review examines opportunities for reducing emissions from sources in the United States, one of the leading contributors to the thickening layer of insulation in the atmosphere that is causing surface temperatures to rise. Until recently, leading US GHG emissions had been declining from peaks reached in 2005. That has unfortunately changed. While significant progress has been made in lowering the carbon-intensity of the electric power sector, emissions from the transportation, industrial, and buildings sectors increased in 2018. Moreover, some longer-term projections provide for this trend to continue, particularly in the industrial sector.

Investors can have an impact with their capital across these four sectors. Broad investment themes that will bend the curve toward lower emissions include renewable power generation, grid management, industrial and building efficiency, and smart mobility. Fortunately, there is a fairly large universe of private investment managers that are helping to build companies aligned with these themes. They offer investors strategies with varying risk and return profiles.


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