There is a growing movement of people that are divesting from fossil fuels.

Some of you agree with experts like Mark Carney  think that fossil fuel investments are increasingly risky bets in a world that is rapidly shifting to clean energy. Maybe you saw the Corporate Knight report about how much better your funds would have performed if you divested a few years ago. 

Others might agree with the Pope that climate change is a moral issue, and that it is incumbent upon us to consider the implications of what we invest in.

[Some of you might just be following Leonardo DiCaprio’s lead of divesting last fall - though I wouldn’t necessarily advise this as a prudent investment strategy].

Collectively, you now represent over $2.6 trillion globally.

Yet even as a passionate clean energy advocate and working in the clean energy industry, I have a dirty secret: I have not divested…till now.

Maybe I was too busy. Perhaps I didn’t think that my small investments in vanilla mutual funds were worth scrutinizing (I bought the most ethical kind that my bank offered a few years ago). Maybe it just was not simple.

So my personal goal for 2016: divest (from fossil) and invest (in clean energy). And I am not waiting for December to roll around, I am getting started now using some nifty new tools.

Like the fossil free funds tool, that allows me to easily look at mutual funds to see if savings are invested in fossil fuels.

Or the decarbonizer tool (created by Corporate Knights) that helps me answers the question: does it pay to decarbonize. I can look at sample funds, or choose my own, to see my results. [For example, since UofT, my alma matter, has been dragging its feet on divesting it left $420M on the table compared to a strategy of divesting 3 years ago.]

And finally I am going to start invest in a clean economy. I’m the type of investor that likes capital preservation and yield. But there are not a lot of clean energy products that meet these goals.

So two years ago my cofounder and I set out to create a simple way for average investors to feel good about investing. A streamlined way to invest in clean energy projects in our communities. And CoPower, an online platform that simplifies clean energy investing was born.

On Feb 1 we are launching our first Green Bond – 5% / 5yrs backed by infrastructure loans to clean energy projects.  So on Feb 1, I will proudly stand in line** to be our first customer. And you can too.

 

**it's really more of a virtual line. Because, you know, the whole process is online and really simple. And waiting in a line outdoors in Canada in the winter is brutal.  Anyway – you can sign up now to be next in line (after me!) when our “doors” open next week.  

 

Tags : divesting strategy, green bonds, clean energy canada, social impact investing