SRI Momentum accelerates in ‘15

– Oil Exports, Paris Climate Conferences and the top 10 advances in ’15. 

Just as in each of the past few years, 2015 produced major advances in the Socially Responsible Investment realm.

Events in the past month served to put an exclamation point on what is sure to be a record setting year. At the Paris climate summit, the world (the 195 countries represented) for the first time in history came to an agreement on measures to address climate change. This NY Times article describes the significance of the agreement: “representatives of 195 nations reached a landmark accord that will, for the first time, commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change. The deal . . . represents a historic breakthrough on an issue that has foiled decades of international efforts to address climate change.” NYTimes: Paris Accord

Just days after the Paris accord, Congress lifted the nation’s 40 year old ban on oil exports. Although not all agree that this development is an advancement for SRI related efforts, it is noteworthy that a large piece of the legislation included concessions to support alternative energy. Included in these is the extension of major alternative energy tax credits for another 5 years. This kind of support could prove to be a catalyst to spur growth and development in this arena for years to come. WSJ: Congress Lifts Oil Export Ban

As always we like to point out that one does not need to be a champion of environmental or social justice causes to recognize that public support and government dollars increasingly favor companies represented in this asset class. This is making it possible more than ever for investors to align their values with their investments without having to necessarily give up returns. In fact, this kind of momentum should catch the eye of the most pragmatic investor. 

You might also enjoy the following lists of 2015 highlights, from an SRI standpoint, put together by Green Century Funds:

Top 5 Impact Highlights

Impact Highlights