GMO Founder Foundation Fighting Climate Change

According to Jeremy Grantham, the founder of GMO, you can divest from oil and not lose money.

He sees climate change as a threat to humanity and he is harnessing nearly all of his wealth to counter it.

Grantham says he’ll devote 98 percent of his net worth, or about $1 billion, to help humans win the race. Currently he and his wife, Hanne, are giving more than $30 million a year to eight large nonprofits and about 30 smaller ones. Beneficiaries include three academic institutes in the U.K. named after him, at Imperial College London, the London School of Economics, and his alma mater, the University of Sheffield.

Investing Prophet Jeremy Grantham Takes Aim at Climate Change, Bloomberg Businessweek

But like a good capitalist, he is looking for ways to profit from it.

When Grantham started his climate fund, the Grantham Foundation, in 1997, many asset managers on Wall Street viewed his work as a fringe pursuit. “There was an undercurrent of, ‘Oh, this is a load of [expletive],’ ” he said. During the past two years, however, the cavalcade of hurricanes, droughts, floods and displacements has made it impossible to maintain the same level of denial in the polite corporate circles that ring Wall Street. This did not mean that climate-based investment strategies had become popular. It was the opposite: No one was willing to risk all of his or her “career units,” as Grantham called them, on climate.

“The problem of doing it accurately is, of course, massive,” he said, referring to betting on climate change. “It’s a fast-moving area with even more uncertainty than an uncertain world. It’s the cutting edge of uncertainty.”

Grantham’s fund is going long on lithium and copper, which he believes will form the vascular system of future renewable-powered supergrids. His confidence derives from an odd and specific conviction that “sooner or later, there will be a carbon tax,” and much of the market capitalization of the leading oil and gas companies will be erased. “You have a certainty,” he said. “It will happen. Or we’ll be on our way to a failed civilization.”

How Big Business Is Hedging Against the Apocalypse, The New York Times Magazine

Firth Court at the University of Sheffield campus.
Twitter @sheffielduni

Post by Marcelino Pantoja