Desert-Greening: The Next Big Thing for Green Investors

By Hazel Henderson © 2014 for GreenMoney Journal

Asset managers and investors are supposed to be rational actors, cranking in all available information leading to efficient markets and optimal resource-allocation. As market failures continue to proliferate and hidden externalities come home to roost, we find that successful investing requires going multi-disciplinary – far beyond narrow economic and financial models.

As we learn from pioneer asset managers’ successful fossil-free portfolios, such as those presented at our recent Finding Ethical Alpha Conference, broadened horizons and deeper research reveal huge unexploited opportunities. Our keynote speaker, Doctor Dennis Bushnell, chief scientist at nasa in Langley, VA, pointed out that four abundant resources are overlooked by investors and traditionally focused development banks and IFIs: deserts (40 percent of our planet’s land); daily free photons from our Sun; 10,000 varieties of halophyte (salt-loving) plants, and seawater for irrigation (97 percent of all Earth’s water).