Ethical financial adviser Julian Parrott offers a response to the news that Guggenheim Partners are planning to launch an Arctic investment fund. He shared his thoughts with Alex Blackburne.
Guggenheim Partners, one of the world’s most famous asset management firms, announced this week that they were setting up an Arctic investment fund.
In response to this, Julian Parrott, partner at Ethical Futures and chair of the Ethical Investment Association, spoke to Blue & Green Tomorrow and outlined what is needed in order to conquer the profit-hungry cluster of unethical companies.
[Guggenheim Partners’ Arctic investment fund] is further evidence of big capitals’ headlong rush into previously untouched locations in a last gasp attempt to squeeze a profit with scant regard for the environmental or social consequences.
It is really the responsibility of world governments to protect these regions but with Russia flexing its muscles, both the US and Canada is keen to get in on the act and being much more lax on regulation.
At present, simply investing ethically won’t stop this sort of thing, much as it won’t stop China buying up vast tracts of Africa and mortgaging its future to their growth. The reason for this is lack of critical mass to influence oil, gas and extractive firms away from doing what is their core proposition and raison d’être.
However, investing ethically will [bring] some positives.
If you are concerned about these activities, the exclusion of companies active in these areas will at least mean that you are not investing in them.
The investment community in general is paying much greater attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. This is strongly led by the ethical investment community so direct and indirect ethical investing leads investment firms to question financial and reputational damage impacts of decisions, such as pursuing Arctic oil exploration.
Investing in ethical and sustainable funds is a really good way of directing money into positive developments on energy efficiency, renewable energy and other environmental technologies. The growth in viability of these sectors should ultimately reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, and therefore the sort of irresponsible push into the Arctic that we are seeing.
If you would like to find out more about ethical investment, contact Ethical Futures, or ask your own financial adviser, if you have one.
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