Advisers re-thought their clients' exposure to oil and other fossil fuel-based forms of energy production during the New Model Adviser® conference and awards, after being warned of ‘an enormous sub-prime carbon bubble’ worth $22 trillion (£16 trillion).
When polled at the conference, the number of advisers saying they expected to increase their asset allocation to ethical investments over the next six months was 23% on the first day, before a talk on climate and the economy by futurist Ed Gillespie.
In a poll taken the following day this number had jumped to 34%.
Gillespie (pictured) told advisers there was an urgent need to divest from fossil fuel-related stocks.
He said renewable energy production would very soon become much cheaper than fossil fuel-based methods. Furthermore, he said, the future of oil energy companies depends on burning more fossil fuel than the earth’s climate could possibly sustain.
‘There is five times more carbon listed on global stock exchanges as viable assets than we can actually burn if you want to keep climate change within two degrees,’ said Gillespie. ‘This is an enormous sub-prime carbon bubble. There are $22 trillion of unburnable assets.
‘If you are invested in them you are complicit in the system that is unfolding, and we need to change it fast,’ he said.
Adviser Christopher Morgan, director of Cardiff-based Planet 3 Wealth, said: 'We had had a very though-provoking presentation on climate change from Ed Gillespie in between those two polls. At Planet 3 we will not now suddenly be entirely divesting from fossil fuels. But it is definitely something we will be raising with our investment committee.
'I know there are some advisers who do a lot of work in this area and we may be picking their brains as well.'
Check out the video highlights of Ed Gillespie's conference presentation.