Investing Opportunities in an Era of Climate Change

Climate change used to be a controversial topic with debate raging between the sceptics and believers. However, as more research is done and the topic of man-made climate change becomes less of a theory and more of an accepted ongoing reality, the focus shifts towards who can benefit and who will lose out in the era of climate change.

As destructive as climate change will be to the world through the destruction of natural habitats, flooding of low lying coastal regions, and extreme weather conditions, there will still be people who find ways to profit.

These could be as simple as the air-conditioning industry, which will benefit from warmer temperatures. Or the more complicated impact of the agricultural Biotech industry, which will benefit via the need for weather resistant crops.

Here are some industries that can benefit from climate change and our effort to adapt.

Industries that will benefit from the world trying to reduce the speed of climate change

As the world realizes the impact of carbon emissions on the climate, governments and policy makers scramble to find ways to reduce humanity’s impact on the environment. The Paris Climate Accord was historic in that 97 countries agreed to reduce their carbon footprint, with a long-term goal of net zero carbon emissions before the turn of the century.

Clean energy industries like solar and wind are set to prosper from the shift in focus towards sustainability. Major US companies have already mentioned that they plan to turn to these alternative energy sources to generate 100% of their electricity needs by as early as next year.

The public has also become more discerning and is willing to do their part to reduce global warming. As such, companies which aid individuals to reduce their carbon footprint, like electric automobile makers, are set to gain. 

Industries that will benefit from rising temperatures and other impacts of climate change

The effects of climate change are wide ranging. Scientists believe that temperatures will rise, causing melting of ice caps from the Earth’s poles. This, in turn, will cause sea levels to rise and flooding in low-lying coastal regions and islands. Other impacts of climate change could be increased incidence of extreme weather conditions.

One industry that has already started to benefit from the rising sea levels are Arctic shipping companies that benefit via lower costs as some shipping routes have opened up, reducing the distance between East Asia and Western Europe. This has reportedly cut costs by up to $500,000 per trip.

The rising temperature will also cause other companies that rely on warm temperatures to benefit. This includes businesses involved in air-conditioning, sunscreen products, and other heat protection accessories.

Industries that will benefit from the need to solve the problems of climate change  

Climate change is expected to cause some regions to have little rainfall and water shortage.

There are industries, which are positioned to solve these problems such as water distillation plants, which desalinate water, helping to increase the usable water supply.

The Biotech industry that produces weather resistant crops is also well positioned to benefit from the increased need to protect against unforeseen weather conditions in the future.

The Foolish Bottom Line

Climate change is already well and truly underway, with NASA reporting an increase of 1.7 degree Celsius since 1880 and melting of 287 Gigatonnes of land ice a year. The devastating effects of these will be felt throughout the world, and humans need to find ways to decelerate the process and at the same time, live with the problems we have created.

As investors, however, there are numerous opportunities for us to help save our shared home. If we can redirect just a small percentage of our wealth to industries that can decelerate the impact of global warming, we can start hoping for a brighter future ahead.

Meanwhile, for more (free!) investing opportunities, sign up here for your FREE subscription to The Motley Fool's investing newsletter, Take Stock Singapore. It will teach you how you can grow your wealth in the years ahead.

The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Jeremy Chia doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned.