If your weekend reading didn't include the New York Times, you may have missed the latest findings from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report received space in newsprint but not nearly enough to equal the weightiness of this important report.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon formally received the document in Spain on Saturday. The report is a distillation of 2,500 scientists views and its a disturbing look at what could happen if greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed. Think acidic oceans, floods, storms and drought, plus the loss of hundreds of species.
I recently spoke with Deutsche Bank Asset Management's Mark Fulton, who was named chief climate strategist this fall. I was curious about the title and his role so I spoke with him to see what his job involved. He told me he works with a team that acts as an investment committee for climate change focused investments.
In the past year, we've seen a big shift in focus on the Street into this area. (Not to mention, even former vice president Al Gore just joined up with venture capitalists to promote investment in climate change-related technology) Fulton says Deutsche Bank takes a two prong approach. It looks at both mitigation and containment and also at adaptation.
At the time I spoke with him, Deutsche had 6 billion euros in climate change related funds from overseas investors and was expecting Americans to become more interested in investing in climate change. Since the time I spoke to Fulton, DWS Scudder, the U.S. retail branch of Deutsche Bank's Asset Management arm launched DWS Climate Change fund which has access to Fulton's group's research.
The DWS Climate Change Fund invests in three areas. First, it targets clean technologies, energy efficiency and environmental management. It also invests in companies that promote energy efficiency and thirdly in environmental management or adaptation. That would include companies that make products and or provide services aimed at dealing with damage to the environment that may already be done or is irreversible.
Fulton expects government commitment to investing in climate change to continue to grow and drive growth of related companies. A Deutsche Bank report on climate change investing includes a forecast that the low-carbon energy markets will equal $500 billion by 2050. It also said worldwide investment in clean energy could reach $100 billion by 2009.
"For so many people, if you take that combination of 'this is a good idea, and it has some economics behind it, and it's investing in companies that are doing something about climate change,' then people are interested and it's a kind of win win," he said.
Fulton said one up and coming area will be technologies that are involved with carbon capture and storage. "There's been a lot of really good public education done, and I suppose the science is proving up," said Fulton. "You really have passed the tipping point of where this is being taken seriously." I would agree.
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