Discussions on the future of the United States’ role in climate change are flooding the news’ sections of sustainable organizations. Trump’s nomination of Scott Pruitt to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may make some socially minded uneasy, but we like to be optimistic and hope the future will include the following:
- An increase in shareholder advocacy as President-Elect Trump and his administration take office. Shareholder advocacy is a great way to bring about social change, especially as it relates to climate change.
- An increase in renewable energy investing such as solar and wind. Both solar and wind are becoming significantly cheaper, and therefore competitive with non-renewables such as coal, arguably the most environmentally harmful source of power.
- An increase in commitments to the environment by the private sector, local, and state governments.
This “glass half-full” outlook will hopefully calm the fears of those that may think the country will retract from many of its green commitments, such as the Clean Power Plan. When considering the future of America’s commitment to sustainability, we hope investors will continue to support their environmentally responsible goals and the divestment movement such as those highlighted in this week’s New York Times Tuesday Briefing. Earlier this week was the first anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change with the announcement that over the past fifteen months, global fossil fuel divestment has doubled, with institutions and individuals controlling $5.197 trillion in assets pledging to divest. On Monday, Bill Gates launched a $1 billion fund for investment in clean energy innovation to combat the effects of climate change.
These positive changes remind us that many facets of the public and private sector play a significant role in the future of climate change. With the increased demand we are seeing for our fossil fuel free offerings from all types of investors including millennials, the socially conscious, and those that are just looking at sustainable investments for the first time; we are excited to see where the future of U.S. sustainable investing is heading.