The Trump administration’s climate agenda is coming into alarming focus – this week, the president signed what’s been called a “sweeping demolition of Obama-era policies on coal mining, fracking, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.” Nancy Pfund’s impact investing firm, DBL Partners, is heavily invested in environment-focused enterprises. So with all the uncertainty, why is she still smiling?
“No question, we’re in unprecedented and unpredictable territory with our new administration,” Pfund said in an interview recorded at The Economist’s “Impact Investing: Mainstreaming Purpose-Driven Finance” event last month. “However – and I’m not alone in saying this – what happens in Washington is not going to stop this trend toward innovation and sustainability. And that’s because the costs are in our favor.”
The global cost of solar, wind and batteries is on a dramatic downward trajectory, she said, which has transformed them from an expensive, alternative solution to a “mainstream, cost-competitive approach to developing your grid.” And as the market has taken the reins from the government, the fate of sustainable energy solutions has moved largely beyond Trump’s reach. “This really doesn’t have to do with politics. It has to do with what’s cheap, what’s high-performing, and what fits into the grid of the future.”
But even on the government front, there is reason for optimism: “States play a huge role in the way that new energy technologies are innovated and released and regulated,” Pfund pointed out. “There’s a lot more action at the level of regions and state governments than at the federal government. … In most state houses across the country, this is a bipartisan issue. Some of the highest penetration wind states are the reddest states of our nation – it’s not just a coastal phenomenon. And also, clean energy polls very well across the political spectrum. The fact that jobs are being created in red, blue, purple states, whatever – that speaks volumes. … It’s not just a path to sustainable energy, it’s a path to quality job creation.”
To read the full article, visit Next Billion.