Investing in the global green economy: Busting common myths’

Held on Monday, May 13


  • Lee Clements

  • Megan Clay (ClientEarth)

  • Isabella Hervey-Bathurst (Schroders)

  • Jennifer Thompson (Financial Times)



In the latter part of last year, FTSE Russell – owned by the London Stock Exchange Group – published an important report aimed at defining and measuring the investment opportunities offered by the shift towards a low carbon, more sustainable ‘green’ economy. No surprise about most of the report’s findings: the green economy is big (more than US$4 trillion in market capitalisation), growing (now a similar size to the fossil fuels sector), diversified (by geography, by industry, by size) and multifaceted.

Perhaps more surprising, and potentially more important, it was considerably outperforming reference indices. The FTSE Environmental Opportunities All-share Index, for instance, has a five-year total return of 74.5%, compared with the FT All-world’s return of 60.1%.                    

The author of this important report is Lee Clements, who is responsible for green investment research, analysis and IP development at FTSE Russell, having spent the last 13 years focusing on environmental, sustainable and thematic investment. We are delighted that he has agreed to walk us through the conclusions of his report.

We are also delighted to have three eminent respondents to pick holes in Lee’s report (if there are any):

  • Megan Clay, who joined ClientEarth at the end of 2016, after five years at Hogan Lovells. She is a lawyer in the Climate Programme, with a focus on strategic litigation – a far cry from her Cambridge degree in archaeology and anthropology.

  • Isabella Hervey-Bathurst, who is the global sector specialist for utilities at Schroders, providing research support for the firm’s global climate change strategy. Like Megan, she is a Cambridge graduate – in her case, with an MSc from LSE.

  • Jennifer Thompson is a reporter for the FT’s fund management section, FTfm. She has been with the paper since 2010, with postings to Paris, Japan and Hong Kong. (Yet) another Cambridge graduate…

I hope Lee doesn’t get too easy a ride. I retain mild scepticism when climate activists insist that we can have our cake and eat it when it comes to investment returns in the green sector. But there is no doubt that money is piling into anything with sustainability up front. So, come and learn – and, if you want, add your own two-penn’orth. Just let us know first, by emailing or by calling the Centre on 0207 621 1056. As usual, there will be wine and sandwiches to keep us going.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hilton