Can Capitalism save the planet? I see glimmers of hope
I’m fully aware that coincidences happen, and that buses often come in threes, but when clients in completely (and I mean completely) different sectors tell me the same thing, my ears tend to prick up. This month, that ‘Ooo’ moment is about investing. I have one client who is adamant that their own investments should be covered by their Sustainability Strategy, and yesterday at the Sustainability Mastermind group another told me their no 1 driver was coming from their investors.
The reason why I give these two signals some weight is that for the last year or two, when I’ve been scouring the Sustainability news for my monthly digest in the Low Carbon Agenda, a staple has been “MassiveInvest Corp has announced a major divestment in fossil fuels and investment in clean tech.” I am neither naive enough to take that at face value, nor cynical enough to immediately scream ‘greenwash’, but when people tell me in private that this is becoming a real thing in their sphere, I start to believe.
I’ve long been a believer that the only way we will achieve Sustainability is to bring the full force of capitalism to bear on the problem. My main argument for this is we simply don’t have time to invent a new economic system (we don’t really know if a palatable alternative exists), so we’ve got to work with what’s there now. When we look at the big Sustainability success story, renewable power, the capitalist forces of supply, demand and economies of scale, along with a bit of Government intervention to kick things off, have brought us way further over the last 15 years than anybody thought possible.
There is nothing more capitalist than investment houses, and if their gazillion dollar weight really is switching to the green side of the economic scrum, then we could see some quite rapid progress up the pitch. I’m ever an optimist!