Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World edited by Will Oulton

kristy Books and Reviews

Review by Hazel Henderson

This compilation of views from many players in the world’s financial markets, though somewhat outdated, is a very useful primer for aspiring green, responsible investors. It provides a full range of technologies for a low-carbon, green transition, with details on how they work, who’s investing and prospects for further development. Useful indexes of green stocks and a description of many exchange traded funds (ETFs) add helpful perspectives.

There might have been less on cap an trade and now somnolent carbon markets, always oversold by trading firms as “market-based” solutions to climate change. In reality, they depended on governments setting caps and enacting complex bureaucracies – immediately gamed by incumbent industry polluters. While there is still a need for a tax on carbon and other pollutants, so as to internalize all the external costs, the real win-win is coming into view in this book: investing in a low-carbon, less polluting, greener future.

Luckily, this is happening, as we at Ethical Markets Media track with our Green Transition Scoreboard®. Since 2007, we have totaled all private investments (except those under $…. million). Worldwide this figure is $1.6 trillion as of mid-2010.

A useful section covers the 2007 London Accord which stepped up to the plate with models in how this low-carbon future of green technologies could unfold. Researcher Lian Shi even predicted in 2008 that “climate change is preventable.” Since the UN Summits in Copenhagen in 2009 and Cancun in 2010, while private investments are on track, governments’ failures have led to a new emphasis on mitigation and adaptation. Meanwhile, we can only continue to cheer on green investing and hope that institutional investors will now walk their talk and commit at least 10% of their huge portfolios to join in the effort.