Richard T. Stuebi
Jeremy Grantham is one of the world’s most successful investors, over a very long period of time. He founded Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo in 1977, which now manages $100 billion of capital for sophisticated investors from around the globe. He tends to take positions for his clients that anticipate the formation of bubbles and defend against their collapse. His quarterly newsletters are extremely well-written: thoughtful and deeply researched. In short, he’s someone who’s thoughts matter, and the thoughts of his readers also matter.
So it’s with extreme interest to me that Grantham devotes pages 7 and 8 of his most recent quarterly newsletter to the issue of climate change. It’s well worth reading. He breaks down the topic in a way reflecting the mind of a long-term strategist who is smart enough to understand risk-reward tradeoffs in a world of imperfect information. And, of someone who is deeply concerned about the environment — as reflected by his founding of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.
His closing paragraph is both stunning in its sweep and unsettling to those of us in the cleantech capital markets: “Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future. But how to make money around this issue in the next few years is not yet clear to me. In a fast-moving field rife with treacherous politics, there will be many failures. Marketing a ‘climate’ fund would be much easier than outperforming with it.”
Richard T. Stuebi is a founding principal of NorTech Energy Enterprise, the advanced energy initiative at NorTech, where he is on loan from The Cleveland Foundation as its Fellow of Energy and Environmental Advancement. He is also a Managing Director in charge of cleantech investment activities at Early Stage Partners, a Cleveland-based venture capital firm.