CHICAGO (Reuters) – If you’re ecology minded, the news hasn’t been all that green of late, with ice caps and glaciers melting and storms becoming more destructive. But there is a huge silver lining for long-term investors in environmentally-friendly companies and technologies.
To stave off a nearly 5-degree global temperature increase by 2100, nations must cut their global greenhouse emissions by up to 70 percent by the middle of this century, according to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
There’s little consensus among developed and emerging nations on how to effectively deal with climate change and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases, but there is agreement on one aspect of this global threat: Trillions of needed dollars will continue to pour into renewable and clean sources of energy, transportation, building and manufacturing.
Although investors have typically focused on a small group of “clean tech” funds and stocks, you can cast a wider net to capture the upside of this influx of investment. Nearly every company in the S&P 500 Index has some involvement in “greening” their operations from recycling to creating their own sources of clean energy.
Take wind power. The retailer Ikea recently announced it was buying a wind farm in Illinois. Microsoft Corp is purchasing a Texas wind facility. Facebook Inc, Google Inc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc are also investing in the technology.