Disrupted: Investors forced to confront how, and when, to play climate

Climate disruption is moving faster than most people realize, and “the responses are going to move much faster as well,” Jeremy Grantham, a veteran British investor and co-founder of Grantham, Mayo, & van Otterloo (GMO), told the Financial Times [paywall].

Grantham thinks the Trump administration’s action last week to help polluters could accelerate the market for clean energy and climate solutions. “Doing his absolute worst will galvanise the response,” he says.

It isn’t just the weather that’s changing: government policies, new technologies and shareholder activism are also forcing investors to act on climate.

As climate economics collides with investment activism, the FT notes, “investors are forced to consider both the potential effects of climate change and the weight of money taking account of carbon.”

Unfortunately, the answers aren’t simple, especially when it comes to timing. Some early solar companies, for example, took heavy losses as they pushed supply into a young market.

And coal? “The stranded-asset argument was very strong a few years ago, particularly in relation to coal,” Ewen Cameron Watt, a senior director at BlackRock, told FT. “Then last year you had a massive rise in the coal price.”

This post originally appeared in ImpactAlpha's daily newsletter. Get The Brief.

Photo Credit: Mark Rain / Veris Wealth Partners

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