Season 3, Post 5: Listen to the teenagers

That teenagers have strong opinions should hardly come as a surprise. Neither should the observation that they are often found playing video games.

Season 3, Post 5: Listen to the teenagers

That teenagers have strong opinions should hardly come as a surprise. Neither should the observation that they are often found playing video games. Given that the young are a proxy for the future, then what better way to engage them than via poll questions distributed through adverts in mobile gaming apps?

This is exactly what the United Nations Development Programme in conjunction with Oxford University recently did in a novel project. More than a million people in 50 countries took part in the survey (named the “People’s Climate Vote”), with almost half the participants aged between 14 and 18. This makes it the largest opinion poll ever concluded on tackling global warming. Compiled between October and December last year, its results have just been released. 

The conclusion was emphatic: 64% of participants see climate change as an emergency, requiring urgent responses from countries. Unsurprisingly, opinions varied by age (the young feel more strongly about the topic) and location (Brits care most about the environment and Moldovans the least). Encouragingly for the new Biden administration, some 65% of US respondents regard climate change as an emergency.

When asked how best to tackle the problem, the responses honed in on a clear set of suggestions, even though there were again some geographic variations. The four most commonly cited proposed solutions were (in order): conserve forests and land; use solar, wind and renewable power; develop climate-friendly farming techniques; and, invest more in green businesses and jobs.

We concur strongly with all the above and have written extensively on the middle two topics in particular. It’s important to remember that even with the cost of solar and wind energy having fallen substantially in the last decade (by ~80% and ~40% respectively), renewables account for less than 10% of all global energy generation currently. The good news is that around two-thirds of new energy projects embrace renewable sources (all data per Bloomberg New Energy Finance). With less than 5% of all global protein consumption currently comprising non-meat sources (per the United Nations), the opportunity ahead in developing more sustainable food solutions is also significant.

4 February 2021

The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.

Alex Gunz, Fund Manager

Disclaimers

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

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