• Kurt Schmidt

Investing in a cleaner, low carbon economy

By Bruce Davis

We live in a time of change and upheaval. Investment is no longer about creating more and better of the same; it is about creating fundamental change in the way we live, work and consume.

Fundamental change can be disruptive, destructive and divisive. Arguably we are seeing the political fallout of that type of change right now all around us. But fundamental change can also mark a transition to something constructive and ultimately cohesive. Capitalism is today often associated with the former type of change, with whole classes and communities of people feeling left behind in the name of progress and the profits to be made by selling the constantly new. It is no coincidence that the two biggest companies in history (Apple and Amazon) have built their successive trillion dollar valuations on the restless desire for the new.

But capitalism can also be used to create a just transition. This is democratic capitalism. Capitalism with a purpose that seeks change as a means to create a better world rather than for its own sake. But such a transition can only work if everyone is on the journey and no one, no community, no class of individual is left behind. To achieve that goal is not the work of utopians and thinkers but of pragmatists and investors.

Investors transform money from a claim on the present (money to buy bread) into a claim on the future (a solar-powered oven). It means identifying the path to achieve the ultimate goal of a low or zero-carbon economy. It means letting go of ideologies and beliefs that were connected to the old reality and finding ways to build bridges to the future along which everyone can travel.

Abundance Investment was not founded on an ideology. We didn’t set out with an ideal of ‘green’ or ‘social’, but rather a desire to make things happen that would deliver a better world for everyone and that would allow as many as possible to share in the financial benefits of the transition. It is an ethos that recognises that the starting point of the transition is not ideal — far from it.

We are a country that produces too much waste; that relies on the constant provision of power on a national grid organised around technologies where bigger is better (and more efficient); and with large sections of our workforce and pensioners dependent on carbon for their livelihoods.

We need solutions to these problems which are both possible and investable now. We need to get on with the job. Our energy system needs to transition from centralised to decentralised, but we can’t leave communities stranded in the old world as we head off to the new. Our waste problem is no longer something that we can bury or ship abroad but one we need to face head on and deal with at home. Our housing crisis isn’t a simple a question of house prices and interest rates, but about how to provide access to warm, stable, low carbon places to live.

Every investment we can make that takes us away from the old world is a good one, and so long as the direction of travel and momentum is maintained we should keep up the pace of change. Sometimes the technologies which offer that change will not be perfect — they will build a less than perfect bridge but what matters is the pace of change that brings us to the destination. Waiting for the perfect bridge is a dangerous path to follow. Acting on the process of change is when the problem of climate stops feeling like an impossible leap and starts feeling like something can be done. £5 is all it takes to get started.

Risk warning

As with any investment product there are risks. Part or all of your original invested capital may be at risk and any return on your investment depends on the success of the project invested in. You should be prepared to hold Abundance investments for their full term and investments may not be readily realisable. Estimated rates of return can be variable and estimates are no guarantee of actual return. Specific risks will apply in relation to each product. Consider all risks before investing and read the Offer Document for each investment.

Re-Published under Creative Commons. Originally posted on

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