To Fight Climate Change, Should Green Investors Reconsider Big Oil?
From HBS, sustainability funds eschew some of the biggest backers of green technology: oil companies. Research by Lauren Cohen offers reasons to re-evaluate the role of traditional energy companies in addressing climate change-
Should eco-conscious investors support a company that’s developing innovative solutions to climate change—even if that company is also a major polluter? The market’s answer to this question has been a resounding “no,” as evidenced by the investment policies that exclude traditional oil producers from most so-called sustainable funds.
Faced with mounting concerns about climate change, oil companies are diversifying their businesses, putting money toward renewable energy sources and green technology. While sustainable funds shun fossil fuel producers, which contribute half of the world’s greenhouse gases, Cohen’s study suggests that these companies could also play a key role in stemming the damage.
"They are investing about three times more than the average firm in climate change mitigation technology."