Carbon Finance: Greed is Green
Reeling from massive losses, a barrage of lawsuits and overall disgrace because of its abuse of new exotic products that led the world into a credit crisis, the financial industry is coming back with more new exotic products. This time, they want investor green to follow green alternative investment ideas like carbon credit exchange traded funds (ETFs), alternative energy ETFs and green real estate investment trusts (REITs).
ETFs are essentially mutual funds for the masses. They allow an average individual investor to buy into a diversified pool of assets in small amounts and with minimal cost. Carbon credits essentially give companies the right to pollute and their value will almost certainly go up as governments of all major economies will eventually have to tax corporations for environmental damage. As investors buy up carbon credits, the cost to pollute will rise. The value of the international carbon market was reportedly about US$60 billion in 2007. That's remarkable considering that the US still only has a voluntary carbon trade market in place via the Chicago Climate Exchange.