Investing in Climate Change Mitigation?

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bostonimproper
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Investing in Climate Change Mitigation?

Post by bostonimproper » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:47 am

As someone still on the consumer level, it seems like current options for throwing money at the problem are toward funding legal or activism non-profits, reducing my own consumption (insulation, solar, no flying, no meat, etc), or buying stock in already-public renewables.

Are there other options out there for helping fund climate change mitigation that could more efficiently use my $'s? I'm thinking particularly low-tech solutions like bonds for sustainable seaweed/aquaculture farms or insect-based foods. Something that builds a market, knowledge base, and bottom-up resilience rather than dumping funds into high-tech R&D.

jacob
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Re: Investing in Climate Change Mitigation?

Post by jacob » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:29 am

Just some risky ideas: Beyond Meat (BYND) for meat replacement. Albemarle (ALB) for lithium mining. The former is definitely "hot" (meaning clueless people are buying it because "next big thing") and the latter has a big short position in it for reasons I don't know (<- so my rule is not to buy even if it otherwise looks attractive to me.)

Parameters for mitigation are very hard to define. It could be argued, for example, that shale gas is part of mitigation since it's displacing coal on price (Murray Energy just declared bankruptcy joining a string of coal mining bankruptcies) AND it has twice the energy/CO2 density of coal. However, shale mining is also an environmental disaster (injection wells leak to ground water supplies) and methane leaks are suspected of raising the global warming potential to coal or worse. (We don't really know since the government has instructed the EPA not to regulate/measure this anymore). In short, supporting shale could be seen as short term mitigation. It could however also be seen in the framework of the rebound effect --- keeping energy prices down just means people use more of it. This is anyway what the numbers show. The same holds for "renewables". They just get added on top of the energy mix.

Investing in nuclear power falls under the same umbrella. And also "high-tech R&D". There are several 4th Gen enterprises you could look into(*), like e.g. Terrapower, Terrestrial Energy, Oklo, GE, Southern Company. The existing big company is of course Exelon (EXC). The stock itself goes slowly and nowhere. Most people hate nuclear. Also, Exelon's reactors are, like the existing fleet, rather very old.

(*) They're the energy source of the future... They might always be the energy source of the future :-P

Easier plays would just be to tag onto companies that have already seen the future, so to speak. Waste Management (WM, I'm holding some) extract gas from landfills and use it to power their garbage trucks. Various engine companies and weapons companies are also preparing for a future that will be electric.

Also in terms of what you already said: Consumer choices like "insulation, solar, no flying, no meat, etc" are all very useful. So invest in companies that provide that. That'd be companies like Corning, First Solar, Trains($), ...

($) I was looking at Greenbrier (GBX) a while ago. I forget why I didn't buy some.

Kylinne
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Re: Investing in Climate Change Mitigation?

Post by Kylinne » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:00 pm

BYND dropped 25 points yesterday because the no-sell period was up, and there's a lot of talk about their competition. That stock is going to be interesting for a while, probably.

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