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The journey to a carbon-neutral economy Alan Lander, Head of Research , Tom Miedema, Investment Manager

Climate and carbon are themes set to define the investment landscape for generations to come. As long-term investors, how do we ensure that portfolios are best positioned to benefit in this lower-carbon world?

On 20 January 2021, President Joe Biden sat at the Oval Office’s Resolute desk for the first time and signed an executive order returning the US to the Paris agreement on climate change.  As a result, all of the world’s top emitters of greenhouse gases will now sit around the table at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow this November. Expectations are high. The pressure will be on for countries around the world to commit to more aggressive emissions reduction plans, doubling-down on the ambitions of that landmark Paris accord. 

For some, the commitments made in November won’t go far enough. Others will question whether the cost of achieving decarbonisation will justify the benefits. Either way, there is no denying the growing international momentum behind decarbonisation, a trend that is reshaping not just the global energy industry, but the global economy more generally.

Whilst momentum for change may have intensified, the issues of climate change are not new. At Walter Scott, we have long considered its impact on the companies in which we invest. Emissions-intensive businesses are scrutinised by our Research team in order to understand their sustainability in a world seeking to limit global temperature rises. But, with climate action set only to intensify over our investment horizon, climate change must be an increasingly important point of consideration for each and every investment. 

It was in this context that, in 2019, the Research team embarked on an in-depth research initiative with the goal of building on our collective knowledge in this area, in particular the strategies and technologies that will shape the transition to a lower carbon economy in the coming decades.



Expert, Engagement, Research, Site Visits, Discussion, Training

Over the course of 18 months, a dozen members of the Research team were directly involved in the project, researching different topics and sharing their findings through detailed presentations and discussion with the rest of the team.

Alan Lander
Head of Research

Alan is Head of Research and a member of the Investment Management Committee at Walter Scott. He joined the firm in 2006 and holds a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics from the University of Nottingham and an MSc in Financial Mathematics awarded jointly by the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Alan is a CFA charterholder.

Tom Miedema
Investment Manager

Tom is an investment manager at Walter Scott, who joined the firm in 2007. Prior to this, he lived and worked in Taiwan, having previously worked at Baillie Gifford. He holds an MA in Business and Economics from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh and an MFin in International Finance from the University of Glasgow. Tom is a CFA charterholder.

  1. An average global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Important Information

This article is provided for general information purposes only.  The information provided in this article relating to stock examples should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any particular security. Any examples discussed are given in the context of the theme being explored.  The opinions expressed in this article accurately reflect the views of Walter Scott at this date, and whilst opinions stated are honestly held, no reliance should be placed on them when making investment decisions.   




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