Elon Musk’s oil tweets shouldn’t discourage investors from future-focused alternatives

Tesla boss Elon Musk’s calls for increasing oil and gas output following the invasion of Ukraine, will not dissuade investors from directing their portfolios towards renewable energy.

Musk says he is in support of hiking U.S. oil and gas output despite the “negative” effect it would have on his company. He tweeted to his more than 76 million followers: “Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”

As I was quoted by Financial Mirror and  Zawya, amongst others, for the time being anyway, Elon Musk is right to react to the immediate crisis in Ukraine and the subsequent fallout. Everything that can be done needs to be done, including increasing oil and gas production.

This is due to the fact that investment in renewables up to now hasn’t been enough to react on a large enough scale when an event of this magnitude occurs. It underscores how we should have gone harder and faster on green energy before.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is helping to push up oil and gas prices worldwide, yet investors with sufficiently diversified portfolios should not now suddenly move away from sustainable alternatives.

The case hasn’t altered for green energy being an investment megatrend of the decade. The fundamentals remain exactly the same.

Despite Musk’s tweets, this trend will gain further momentum for a number of reasons.

First, governments and regulators are becoming more and more pro-ESG, thereby bolstering investor confidence.

Second, as millennials – who can be expected to seek responsible investment options – become the key beneficiaries of the biggest intergenerational transfer of wealth, around $30 trillion in the next few years, retail and institutional investors will likely continue to pile into ESG.

And third, the Covid crisis has focused attentions on how the health of our planet directly impacts human health, which subsequently influences the way we live and work.

As such, last year deVere announced we are offering free, independent advice to clients on socially responsible investing, with the aim of placing $5 billion in environmental, social and governance investments within five years.

Moreover, we became a founding signatory of The Financial Alliance for Net Zero, the UN group for financial institutions to make credible net zero commitments via the UN’s Race to Zero project.

Going back to Musk, I believe he’s right, and calls for increasing oil and gas output is a prudent response in the short term, but sustainability as an investment megatrend of the decade is not going to be compromised.

Of course, investors need to make sure that their portfolio is adequately diversified to mitigate risks and make the most of the opportunities. These ‘extraordinary times’ we’re living in now, as Musk puts it, won’t last forever, so investors need to think very carefully before moving away from future-focused alternatives.

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