Profit from Climate Change?

Although Canada is in a deep freeze now, it’s a fact that winter has been unseasonably warm until recently. As an illustration, the second day of the New Year, I went biking on Toronto’s miles- long trails. The day was too warm to pass by. I also remember saying how, while I love the warmth, being a Mediterranean kind of gal and all, such warm weather is just freaking me out.

Something is definitely wrong with the planet.

Now, you may feel that trying to save the planet from global warming is such an overwhelming problem, like world hunger or world peace, that one person can’t really do much.

Well, ordinary people, unless motivated and guided en masse by their governments and scientists, are more or less powerless. However, socially aware investors may delay, if not completely prevent, whatever catastrophes may be brought on by significant climate changes.

Governments around the world are already paving the way. New regulations are coming online every day, supporting financially and otherwise corporations that are manufacturing proactive, environment-friendly products and/or technologies. No doubt, these companies could represent excellent near-term profit opportunities.

So, what exactly are we talking about? Well, the palette of industries/companies fans quite widely. You could look into the construction and property insurance companies, to manufacturers of biofuels, to power plants that use wind, nuclear or natural gas.

While others are self-explanatory, you may wonder about property insurance companies, right? Well, global climate change has been held responsible for weird weather events we’ve been seeing over the past few years. Many insurers are refusing to underwrite property insurance policies against hurricanes and other freaky weather events. But, there is a growing group of insurers that sees this as an opportunity to underwrite millions, if not billions of dollars in specialty policies. Sometimes it is all about grabbing market share.

Then there are environment consulting businesses, crop growers (such as growers of corn and sugar cane used in the production of biofuels), and companies that facilitate something called “carbon credit trading.” This came about with the Kyoto agreement and carbon credits that big polluters can score, protecting both the environment and their bottom line. On the list are car and auto parts manufacturers, who are making their cars lighter to emit less pollutants or building their engines as hybrids.

As you can see, although the problem of global warming is huge and daunting, there are ways of baking that cake and eating it too.