Two of Aspectus PR’s key specialisms are Energy and Financial Services. So when an invitation to attend NewNet’s Envirotech and Clean Energy Investor Summit came along, we jumped at the chance – especially when the keynote speaker was Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States.
Bringing together key decision makers and investors, the Summit took place on Halloween at the green investment centre in London, just a stone’s throw from the Tower of London. Perhaps it’s just as well the setting wasn’t too macabre given some of the horrifying tales associated with global warming, as this was an event pervaded by optimism. It included discussion panels on investing in wind, marine, biomass and solar among others, but the headline moment was the address by Gore, who is now Chairman of Generation Investment Management (Generation IM).
Founded in 2004 by Gore and David Blood, Generation IM is dedicated to long-term sustainable investment strategies. Gore was there to argue that, despite the dire climate situation, there are real opportunities for sustainable, green investment. Sprinkled with fascinating anecdotes, the core drive of Gore’s speech was that, like the bubble (and resultant crash) caused by the trade in sub-prime mortgages, current investors are dealing in unnecessary risk by putting their money in sub-prime carbon assets.
To avert catastrophe, the IEA estimates that we need to avoid 2oC global warming (compared to pre-industrial levels) by leaving two-thirds of carbon assets in the ground. Many investors that see dithering at the international level conclude that it won’t happen, and that carbon-heavy assets will continue to be profitable.
However, Gore argues there are very real reasons to think that pressure will be brought to bear, and these carbon assets will be stranded. If so, there is a compelling opportunity for those holding low-carbon portfolios to make substantial gains.
With delegates as diverse as young Cleantech companies and giants such as Shell, there was a wealth of opinion on offer. Yet the overriding message was unanimous: clean, green and sustainable investment opportunities are more than just ethical choices – they are financially sound.
Of course, this is a message we’re well acquainted with at Aspectus, and the PR challenge in an age of ‘green fatigue’ is to tell it well and stand out from the crowd. This requires insightful and intelligent comment from both the financial and green perspective and with Aspectus’ proven pedigree in both we have the knowledge and experience to do just that.
The full text of Al Gore’s keynote address can be found here.