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Eco-investing is the future, says visiting UK economist

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ECO-FRIENDLY green investing will grow ‘immensely’ in the near future as the Millennial generation gains more influence and the 2020s are likely to be a ‘decade of transformation’, Island business people have been told at a seminar.

Dean Turner, economist at UBS UK and Jersey, Enrique Lomnitz, director at Isla Urbana in Mexico City and Tim Kent-Robinson, head investment specialist at UBS UK and Jersey Picture: ROB CURRIE. (27019646)

During a lunchtime presentation hosted by UBS bank, London-based visiting economist Dean Turner told attendees that global economic growth was likely to be ‘subdued’ this year because of continuing uncertainty, despite Brexit moving closer to resolution.

He explained that this was largely due to the vastly different economic stances of candidates in the American presidential election – including Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – and unresolved trade negotiations between the US and China.

Speaking about the longer term, Mr Turner said that investors could expect the 2020s to be a ‘decade of transformation’ because of six key trends – deglobalisation, technology advances, wealth distribution, new monetary policy, changing demographics and growing concern for the environment.

On the environment, he said that increased awareness of climate change problems would see the ‘green’ movement gain more influence in governments, which would make eco-friendly investing more attractive and eventually mainstream.

‘One thing that is increasingly apparent is that problems we are seeing with the climate are increasingly filtering into the mindsets of voters,’ he said.

‘Last year was the first year we saw a green party enter government – it happened in Austria. Elsewhere the green agenda is influencing government policy. The way we are going to see legislation change is with very much a focus on “greening” the economy.

‘The amount of investment we are going to see in this area is going to be immense, especially in Europe, and this is going to transform the global economy.’

He added that growing environmental awareness was a generational matter and ‘not a fad’ that would disappear.

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‘As we are all getting older the Millennials, the most environmentally conscious generation we have ever known, are increasingly becoming voters, consumers, business owners, owners of wealth and investors,’ he said.

‘A trend that we have seen in the last few years is demand to invest to address green issues is only growing. This isn’t a fad – it is here for the long term.

‘And the reason it isn’t a fad is because it is going to be driven by the demographics over the next decade.’

UBS head investment specialist Tim Kent-Robinson built on Mr Turner’s comments and said that sustainable projects will become ‘part and parcel of investing’.

Also during the presentation, businessman Enrique Lomnitz explained the success his company Urban Island has had in developing rainwater harvesting systems to alleviate water shortages in Mexico City.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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