Climate Investing: What is it?

Written by Lindsay Mayhall on June 14, 2022

Climate investing is the practice of making investments that reduce global greenhouse emissions while producing profits. Climate investing (or climate-compatible investing) includes investment products such as loans, bonds, stocks and more that give investors an opportunity to earn a positive return by investing in activities that can mitigate or stabilize the effects of global warming.

Where does climate investing go?

Climate investing is a type of socially responsible investing (SRI) that focuses on environmental, social and corporate governance factors.

Climate investing can take many forms, such as investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture or forestry and other climate-related technologies. Some investors may opt to invest directly in companies that are creating these products and services, while others may choose to invest indirectly through investment funds.

In addition to these direct investments, there are many ways to include climate change in your investment portfolio without making a direct investment. For example, you could buy shares in an exchange-traded fund (ETF) or mutual fund that invests in companies involved with renewables or environmental initiatives.

The first step for anyone interested in climate investing is to determine which approach best suits their needs and goals.

 Carbon Markets

Carbon markets are one of the most common ways to invest in climate change. They allow companies to buy and sell carbon credits, which are created when companies reduce their emission levels over time. This can be done by investing in renewable energy, planting trees or installing more efficient lighting and appliances.

Investing in carbon markets can be a good way to help companies reduce their carbon footprint and it also provides investors with an opportunity to make money. Carbon credits are traded on exchanges such as the Chicago Climate Exchange, New York Climate Exchange and European Climate Exchange.

One of the main advantages of these types of investments is that they’re relatively easy to understand, even for inexperienced investors. You can easily see how much CO2 was reduced by a particular project which makes it easier for you to evaluate investment opportunities.

What types of investments count as climate investment?

There are many different types of investments that can be made into the climate sector. Some of the most common include:

Renewable energy. This includes wind farms, solar panels and other forms of clean energy generation. These tend to be more stable than fossil fuels and can provide consistent returns over time, although they may be riskier at first as they're still relatively new technologies.

Clean tech. Clean tech includes anything that helps reduce our carbon footprint, such as electric cars and cleaner forms of transport or even technology that reduces our energy use (like smart thermostats). Clean tech companies tend to be less liquid than renewables because there are fewer buyers for their products — but they can be more profitable if demand increases over time.

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)

 Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) is a partnership between the government and the private sector to build and operate infrastructure. The private sector takes responsibility for designing, building, financing and operating the project, while the government provides the land and contributes to the upfront capital costs of construction.

PPPs are advantageous to both parties because they allow governments to save money on construction by using private contractors instead of hiring public employees. For example, a state highway department may not have enough money to build a new highway on its own so it turns to a private contractor who can take on this project at a lower cost. In exchange for their services, the contractor receives payments from the state over time as well as other incentives such as tax breaks or tolls on roads they manage.

Climate Finance is a major area of environmental funding.

With billions of dollars flowing into this fast-growing field, it's time we gained a greater understanding of the industry. It has the potential to drastically reduce carbon emissions, and perhaps even contribute to the development of more sustainable practices in other sectors as well. These investments have the power to make a huge difference for our planet, so let's do what we can to ensure that happens.