The Economist 2021 ESG Investing Conference

As a recap of the conference, the focus of future investments is to focus 7% of a firm's portfolio dedicated to alignment of the Paris agreement. If companies do not perform well and invest in sustainable investing, portfolios will indubitably drop in value with predetermined requisites in comparison to having other classes, but positive stranded assets and transition risks materializing will beget rising returns.

Main investments were in hydrogen fuel and electric batteries. Additional key themes of the conference were contributions to the cyclical economy, finding novel ways of packaging besides plastic, minimizing food waste via prolonging food life, and alternative forms of meat that require less water. Public companies partnering with startups will create value that uplift investments and pave the path towards climate change, and conscious capital allocation can aid progress. Other examples are targeting commodities and influencing local environments that contribute to climate change; in Malaysia the production of palm oil leads to much deforestation of plants and changing the process of production can aid to more sustainable practices.

Many of the targets and innovations around carbon credits and offsetting are minimal in contributing to climate change, as they offset less than 1%. Buying the ability to produce more carbon in supposed to other companies does not limit the carbon emissions in the environment, and investments thereof of divestments simply allocate investments elsewhere that are carbon rich. The goal is to not divest but to work with companies with infrastructure, as many do to slowly transition to more sustainable fuels such as hydrogen which is in reach within the imminent term, whereas impact of carbon credits and financial products will only be actualized by 2050.

Fighting climate change is a comprehensive battle that requires all consumers, from businesses shaping consumer behavior in the way we eat and shop via shifting to alternative meats and recycled clothing, to businesses and investment firms being more cognizant of investments in production of future products that can align with sustainability. Most of all, government regulation and action via pension funds, investments and legality have the greatest responsibility, to uphold standards of what is requisite of its denizens.