Making Money Tackling Climate Change?

Unique ways we can all address Climate Change

By Diogo Santos, GLOBUS Correspondent

Inspired by Nicola Blasetti’s talk entitled ‘Finding your role in climate change – what ignites your passion?’, delivered at the TED Countdown event organised by TEDxWarwick and GLOBUS.

I would like to think that my sustainability journey started quite unusually – as a contrarian, believing Climate Change was but fearmongering by environmentalists to acquire public support and funding. Interestingly this was not due to lack of knowledge but instead how that knowledge had been presented to me. I was taught throughout school about the importance and urgency of Climate Change and the need for a transition towards a sustainable future. However, it was presented to me as an end-of-the-world catastrophe, and, as those who watched Don’t Look Up know, humans struggle accepting existential threats. It’s something we don’t like and don’t want to think about, and thus reject it. 

Once I conceptualized Climate Change not as a meteor coming to destroy us all, but instead as a method of helping fellow humans – I wanted in.

2 years ago, I discovered my passion for investing. I dedicate large portions of my time to learning and developing myself as an investor and it’s something that truly brings me joy and self-fulfillment. But how does this have anything to do with Sustainability and Climate Change? Good question Watson. 

Investing, as I personally practice, refers to the process of identifying and purchasing financial assets such as stocks/shares, commodities, funds, or cryptocurrencies which after thorough deliberation I believe will provide me with a high return in the long-term. Just like with purchasing goods, there are sustainable and unsustainable investments. This is where I decided to make my first change. 

I have decided to forbid myself from buying investments (mostly stocks) that that clearly go against ESG framework. Companies that are clearly destroying the environment through their current business model such as fossil fuel giants, or those that greatly harm our society such as tobacco stocks. A perfect example of this is GEO Group, a business operating a private prison model in the USA. According to all my analysis it was clearly undervalued at the time and would’ve most likely provided me with the kind of returns I am looking for. However, I decided not to invest in it no matter how attractive the potential returns if it was a business model that harmed fellow humans in the process.

I have also decided to put a greater emphasis on researching investments which I believe will guide humanity towards a more sustainable future. Renewable energies, sustainable foods, and sustainable essentials goods are all examples of areas I have investments in precisely because I have put a great deal of focus on finding great investments in these spaces. This has been my first step towards tackling Climate Change and progressing sustainable development in my own, unique way.

When many think of becoming more sustainable the more ‘conventional’ methods come to mind such as changing food habits, or buying sustainably sourced products, and don’t get me wrong this is great! However, I believe it is imperative we open our mind towards different ways we can put our hobbies, passions, and interests working towards sustainability. 

For a long time, I have been an avid fan of gaming. Exploring mysterious fantasy worlds with a character I created from scratch or developing tactics to tackle the imposing difficulties of strategy games entices me greatly. But where does gaming come into sustainability? Energy efficiency. When I built my own computer 3 years ago this was something I didn’t even consider, however, as my knowledge on the topic grew, I realized its importance. This has little relevance for those utilizing laptops, however, the monitor or power supply you choose for your computer has a large impact on how much energy your it will draw. Therefore, finding higher rated energy efficiency monitors or purchasing power supplies with at least 80+ bronze certification will lower your electrical footprint, and by extension your carbon footprint.

I also love manga – Japanese comics. It is something I’ve loved for a long time and when I was younger, I even accumulated quite a few physical copies of books. However, unlike traditional books manga series tend to have a much larger number of volumes. These can range from as little as a few volumes to over 50 volumes in many instances. Worse even is that due to the pages mostly being pictures, they are quite quick to read. I therefore decided to restrict myself from getting physical copies as it would waste exorbitant amounts of paper and have switched to a solely digital format. 

These are 3 examples where I have discovered I can make a difference through a few simple tweaks in the process. I believe that there are numerous other examples where all of us can find ways of becoming more sustainable or directly tackling Climate Change through our passions, interests, and hobbies. 

Through this article I urge you to investigate how you can make a difference doing the things you already love and emphasize the importance of looking outside the box to succeed in making a difference. I truly believe that if we all contribute in our own, unique different ways we can guide the world towards a better path, one of climate awareness and sustainability. 

Header image by Nicholas Cappello via Unsplash

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