Achieving a low carbon future
If you’ve taken any notice of the news in recent months, or experienced any of the exceptional weather, you will be aware of climate change. In the UK, we recorded our hottest day according the Met Office, having recorded an all-time daily temperature of 37.7C (101.7F) on Thursday the 25th July 2019. The Met Office also confirmed that the UK’s 10 hottest years have occurred since 2002. This can be attributed to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
What, if anything, is being done to combat this?
The Paris Agreement was a landmark agreement to combat climate change and increase the actions and investments required for a low carbon future. The main goal is to coordinate a global response to climate change by limiting a global temperature rise by 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The agreement was signed by 196 members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UK has recently pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, however it will be a daunting task.
How does this relate to me?
Well, the average person in the UK directly emits 10 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This is broken down by 5.7 tonnes from transport; how we go about our weekly tasks, traveling to work, getting the shopping in, flying away on holiday. A further 2.7 tonnes from heating with natural gas; making sure we are comfortable during winter in our homes. And an additional 1.6 tonnes from electricity usage in the home; watching our favourite TV shows, surfing the net, lighting our homes.
What can you do to reduce your personal carbon footprint?
Looking at electricity usage first, switching to a 100% renewable provider can be done today. There is an ever increasing choice of these providers and often it can be done for the same pricing tariffs. This will save 1.4 tonnes off your carbon footprint.
As to your heating usage, making sure your home is properly insulated can save a further 0.5 tonnes of carbon emissions, and although it may cost initially, the savings in heating costs will offset that in the future.
The transport aspect may be a little more long term, but switching to an electric vehicle, having your weekly shopping delivered, taking less airline flights will also save a significant amount of carbon emissions. Within our working life, using technology can be easily implemented, by using apps such as Skype instead of traveling to meetings, if possible being able to work from home rather than commuting to an office.
What can Pennine Wealth Solutions do?
Through our Positive Pennine Portfolios, we invest in companies that are helping to make the world a cleaner and more sustainable place. There are a growing number of companies and industries that are coming up with creative and sustainable ways in which they manufacture, deliver products, and ultimately provide solutions to reducing carbon production, which by the very nature, goes a long way in helping all of us reach the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.
Below are a couple of examples of company stocks held within the portfolios;
SIEMENS GAMESA renewable energy; Companies such as this large wind turbine manufacturer are set to benefit from the demand for its products over the next few years and beyond. These large wind turbines are very impressive; the blades are 170m in diameter, putting that into perspective, it would take Usain Bolt nearly 16 seconds to sprint across one.
KINGSPAN; This company produce thermal insulation, which helps cut the amount of energy needed to heat the buildings in which we live and work. Starting out as a small engineering company in the 1960’s, Kingspan are pioneers in insulation and building envelope technology. They hold energy conservation at their core and have committed to achieving 100% net zero energy by 2020.
These are just two examples of what companies are doing to help achieve the carbon goals, and as a result of efficiencies in processes and demand for their products, they also make a very good case from an investment return point of view.
At Pennine Wealth Solutions we are very aware of the benefit of being a Northwest firm. Therefore, although through our investment process we have a global reach, locally we aim to educate and inform financial advisers and their clients of these climate issues and solutions through our quarterly investor seminars, where the subject of sustainable investing is always on the agenda.
If you would like to attend a seminar, or would like any further information on our Positive Pennine Portfolios and how investing in them can go some way to helping achieve the carbon goals, please get in touch.